Pumas Prowl Midwest

Big cats migrate east in search of prey
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 7:42 PM CST

(Newser) – Pumas, normally prowlers of the Rocky Mountains, are slowly pushing east, ecologists say, which has led to a rash of sightings throughout the Midwest. Wisconsin just had its first confirmed puma sighting in over a century, and since 1990 the big cats have cropped up in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Great Plains are irresistible hunting grounds for the pumas, which find themselves the undisputed kings of a region with few wolves, no bears, and lots of tasty deer. “The banquet is open,” said one wildlife ecologist. Humans shouldn’t be too concerned: The cats are capable of mauling them but almost never do, preferring to avoid bipeds altogether. (Read more Big Cats stories.)