African lions do not live in America except in zoos. The American lion is the cougar, which looks similar to an African female lion. The cougar lives in South, Central and North America. It is often called by other names: mountain lion, puma, catamount and panther.
A full-grown cougar is about 4 to 5 feet long, plus its heavy tail which is 2 to 3 feet long. It is an example of the Creator's handiwork in its handsome appearance and ability to adapt to a great variety of environments. They live in mountains, forests, swamps, jungles and even in deserts.
In some ways the cougar is like the domestic cats that many of us have as pets. It purrs when contented and has soft, dense fur, usually a tawny color but sometimes reddish, silver-gray or even almost black. It has a pretty head with cat-like whiskers, sharp teeth, clear yellow eyes and upright ears. Its lithe, flexible body is supported by strong legs with large padded paws equipped with hidden claws that can be extended as needle-sharp weapons when fighting. The cougar is lord of its surroundings, fearing nothing but hunting dogs.
The Creator has given cougars excellent sight and hearing. Their food includes deer, mountain sheep, rabbits, coyotes, birds, rodents and an occasional fish. They avoid humans but have been known to kill people. Males and females live solitary lives and do not hunt together. Wandering over vast areas, they use rocky ledges for lookouts or crouch in the branches of a tree over a game trail, leaping down on a passing victim.
From 1 to 5 cubs are born in the spring and are blind for 10 days. Only a few inches long at birth, they soon are as cute and playful as domestic kittens. Their tawny fur has black spots which later disappear. The mother trains them for about a year before they are on their own.
It is sad that the food supply of such a beautiful creature requires the death of others. When the Lord God created the animals to live with Adam, all were at peace with each other, and He "saw that it was good." But Adam's sin brought death with it, as the Bible states: "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin" (Romans 5:12). Death came not only to man, but also to every creature in the world.
The Bible tells about a time that is coming when all animals will again live peacefully with each other. However, before that time all who know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour will be taken to heaven and God's judgment will fall on those who have refused Him. How important it is to accept Him as your Saviour and Lord now, before it is too late.
Copied with permission from Messages of God's Love. More articles in The Wonders of God's Creation (Volume 1-4) by Sidney R. Gill, also published by Bible Truth Publishers.