Louisville, KY., – There’s a new cat in town for the new year! “Becca,” a two-year-old female puma, comes to the Louisville Zoo from the Central Florida Zoo. Becca was rescued at three months old by the Washington State Wildlife Commission after being separated from her mother. She was found significantly underweight along with her sibling who, unfortunately, did not survive.
Pumas are solitary cats and have the largest range of any terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere outside of human beings. They range from northern British Columbia to Argentina. Pumas are also known as cougars, panthers and mountain lions due to different regional names for the cat. In Kentucky, we often refer to them as mountain lions. The scientific name is puma concolor.
The largest of the small cat species, this adaptable cat lives in a variety of habitats in forests, prairies, deserts and swamps. Pumas have large hind legs giving them the ability to jump high. They can jump from the ground into trees and have been known to leap 20 feet up or down a hillside. They can also run fast. Like a cheetah, pumas have a flexible spine which allows them to maneuver around obstacles and change direction quickly. Their prey depends on location but can include capybaras, raccoons, deer, squirrels and armadillos.
Visitors can see “Becca” in the Cats of the Americas exhibit near the MetaZoo, next to the Canada lynx and across from the bald eagles. She will be on exhibit daily unless otherwise noted at the exhibit.
The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).