Patagonia 2019 Pumas

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#1
I've published my puma photos from May's tour in southern Chile. Once again, we had numerous memorable sightings, highlighted by multiple encounters with four tiny cubs (4-5 weeks old) and their mother.

You can check out the full gallery here. A short preview is below.

Our first encounter with mom and her cub foursome. We actually saw different females with one, two, three and four cubs of various ages on this tour.


A young female that I last saw as a seven-month-old cub during my last tour. Now independent, she was blind in one eye but was doing well for herself.


We had a couple different photo ops with the small cubs. On this evening they came in to check out a carcass a mere 25 yards from us... without mom!


A mother with three yearling cubs had made a kill right next to the road in the park. We'd see them over the course of the final three days of the trip. Hard to believe the carcass lasted these big cats that long.


A couple views from our second long encounter with the foursome. This was also right near the road inside the national park (where you can't venture away from the road or off-trail).




Mom finally made an appearance and walked within 15 yards of me.


A young female chasing after a swan.




A bit wet after a failed hunt.


See the full Patagonia 2019 Pumas gallery of 98 new photos. There's a lot more good stuff in there.

Max
 
#3
Yikes! That is pouncing distance! o_O
It usually happens once or twice on these trips. The cats aren't interested in people, from a predatory perspective. I think in the last 40 years there's only been one human death caused by a cat down there, a fisherman who was hunched down... they think the cat was confused about what he was, and the smaller profile made him more susceptible to attack.

I would probably not feel as comfortable being that close to a northern mountain lion, but I've had multiple close encounters in Latin America and they've been fairly benign.

Max
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
It seems like a high concentration of cougars in one area. Are the South American cats more tolerant of each other than their North American cousins?
 
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#5
I think they're more tolerant and the population is much more dense due to the abundance of prey. Not to say they won't fight over a kill--that's fairly common--but we've had days when we had at least 3-4 adult or subadult cats within a mile radius before. On this trip, for example, we had the mom and her four little cubs hanging out near a carcass, two adults watching over us on the horizon behind, and then we heard about a big male that came in the next day.

Max
 


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