Felidae Conservation Fund

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Trail of the Puma

This is a one-hour film that will reveal new insights into the natural history of this iconic, top-level predator, it’s delicate relationship with man, and it’s future status in the United States. Watch one puma’s 1,500 mile journey from South Dakota to Connecticut and learn about America’s lion.

Once ranging from coast to coast, historically the puma, or mountain lion, had the most extensive distribution of all American terrestrial mammals. Once settlers arrived this slowly started to change. Viewed as a threat to livestock and people, their numbers began to decline as bounty and then game hunting became common practice across America.

Today, increased urbanization has led to habitat fragmentation and isolation for many pumas. In June 2011, reported puma sightings started to flood in from the eastern state of Connecticut. Conservationists surmised that the animal must be an escaped pet, since the 'Eastern Puma' was officially declared extinct after a 5-year study in March 2011. Days later, the puma was struck by an SUV and killed. It was determined that this cat was wild and had traveled over 1,500 miles from the Black Hills of South Dakota, the longest migration of a puma ever recorded.

This film will examine the questions the American public and media asked: How and why did a puma journey so far?

Photo above from The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection via The New York Times

Trail of the Puma is a fiscally sponsored project of Felidae Conservation Fund.