Photo of the Day #14: Cougar

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Cougars (Puma concolor), while currently ranging from Canada to the Andes Mountains in South America, still inhabit only part of their former range. Before European colonization, the big cats ranged from coast-to-coast in the U.S., the eastern populations being wiped out with the exception of a small population in Florida. Some have suggested that the cats may eventually make a comeback and reclaim their previous ranges, potential sightings popping up every now and again in Pennsylvania and other states, but by and large if you want to see a cougar and live on the east coast of the U.S. you have to visit a zoo. The picture above was captured at one such institution, the Philadelphia Zoo, last January.