L is for Lion
Not the thing
but a way of saying it
how a cat moves
like oil smoothed
down the tin
the first dark
splashes of rain
wind of water
from a tap
as a dream disappears
through the forest
Mountain lions live in North America and have many names – cougar, puma, panther, catamount… but they are all the same animal.
As people settled in North America and started to farm it was inevitable that this predator would come into conflict with farmers, and although their territory once stretched form the Canadian Yukon to the Straits of Magellan, nowadays they are confined to 14 western states where there is room to support them and one small part of Florida, where they are endangered.
They eat any mammal prey but usually deer.
Although people fear them, they are very shy and solitary (they hate intruders on their patch) and rarely come into contact with humans. About 4 people a year are killed by them.
Contrast this with dogs, that killed about 30 people in the United States last year.
Or humans themselves – hunters shot 1,000 people by accident in the United States and Canada last year and 100 of those died.
Mountain lions are very beautiful.
All material © Liz Brownlee
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