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Our Red Tigers Rock!

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Just recently, we opened the dividing door between male Puma, Carlos, and girlfriend, Freddie.  They have lived side-by-side for over a year.  Never, ever was there any hint of red tiger rage and all at the zoo anticipated an easy introduction.

Both Carlos and Freddie were former pets. They have different personalities and enjoy the attention they receive at the zoo. When the dividing door opened for their first formal get together,  zookeepers watched as the two beautiful cats slowly approached each other.  To everyone’s surprise, the much smaller Puma, girl Freddie,  made it very plain to Carlos that she was boss of the territory.   Carlos was not expecting his long-time neighbor next door to be aggressive, but Freddie snarled and pranced about and seemed to be establishing an “I’m in charge” position.

Within a couple of days, all was cool, calm and collected in Red tiger world.  Sometimes the two cats will play together, but most of the time, they respect each other’s territory and stay a bit aloof.

Red tigers are also known as Pumas, Mountain Lions, Catamounts, and Cougars.  They have the largest range of any large wildcat.   How extended is the range of this beautiful cat? The Puma lives from Canada clear down to Argentina.  Within that range, their size differs, as well as their colour.  They are solitary in the wild, coming together only to mate.  And, yes, they are VERY territorial.  Females do not want males in her area of living after a litter is born.   Sometimes,  the males will kill the puma kittens, so being a single mom is preferred by any female Puma.  She will give birth to a couple of kittens.  Unlike the mother, who is reddish-brown in colour, a baby Puma is spotted and has blue eyes.

Their legs are strong and powerful.  A Red Tiger can jump fifteen feet high.  And leap up to forty feet!  They eat deer, raccoons, armadillos and agouti.  Killing their prey by pouncing upon the animal, they will then bury it, returning to eat when hunger strikes.

The Puma, while large, is not part of the “big cat family”  Interestingly, the Puma can purr.  Carlos seems to enjoy showing off his ability to purr when visitors approach.  And we all believe that his happy demeanor reflects his satisfaction with his nice Puma-profile at The Belize Zoo.  A pretty girlfriend, admiring visitors, and a purr-fect diet.  

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