The exhibit was developed by the Center of Southwest Studies and the Colorado Division of Wildlife to address the pressing need for greater public awareness on the growing issue of human encounters with mountain lions. Over the last two decades, there has been a dramatic rise in cougar sightings and dangerous encounters on the urban fringes of numerous Western cities. In a few rare cases, there have been fatalities.
The goal of this exhibit is to create an understanding of the nature of these predators and their long, historic relation with people. The exhibit blends science, history and art to provide a comprehensive look at this mysterious predator. Mountain Lion! examines the history of cougars starting from the Ice Age when they roamed the continent along with fierce cats like the giant North American cave lion and Smilodon, popularly known as the saber-tooth tiger. Another exhibit section will look at the hunting techniques, habits, and physical features of modern mountain lions that have allowed them to survive for thousands of years. Mountain Lion! illustrates the different perspectives of Native Americans and early European settlers toward cougars, how opinions about the animal changed, and the ways they continue to be portrayed in fine art and popular culture. Other sections teach visitors how to read cougar behavior, recognize tracks and scat, and offer practical tips on what to do if you encounter a mountain lion. You’ll also get the chance to hear the sounds of cougars.
Is your institution interested in exhibiting Mountain Lion!? Please download the exhibit prospectus and contact Jay Harrison, Director, for further details.