Mountain lions, also known as cougars, panthers, or pumas, were revered by Native Americans as hunters, spiritual powers, threats and friends. They are the most elusive and rarely seen predator in Santa Cruz County.
Mountain Lions are most commonly found in areas with plentiful deer and adequate cove. The number of mountain lion/human interactions has increased over the last several years. This increase is likely due to a variety of reasons; more people moving into lion habitat, increase in deer populations and density, presumed increase in lion numbers and expanded range, more people using hiking and running trails in lion habitat and a greater awareness of the presence of lions.
Mountain lions are a very large cat with a distinctive sandy color and a long tail. They prey on deer, rabbits, squirrels, rodents, and birds.