Wild Animals/Cougers

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Question
Can a couger kill a Burmese python?

Answer
Dear Chris

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

Please note that the Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades are not native to the USA, so cougars (also called pumas) would need to adapt their feeding methods to feed on them. I am speculating that these feeding methods would be similar to those used to overcome anacondas. Daniel Moellic (http://en.allexperts.com/q/Interspecies-Conflict-3754/2010/5/animal-fights-33.ht) says that cougars do not usually kill large snakes and other sites state that most predators would be at a great disadvantage if the snake were in water. Johan Hjelm (http://www.ehow.com/info_8649079_animals-eat-python.html) says that cougars will eat pythons. From other research, it seems that cougars can kill small anacondas on land and the same is probably true of cougars killing Burmese pythons. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVUerporAlU shows a video of a large cat and a python, but the cat looks like a leopard and not a puma.

All the best

Jonathan  

Wild Animals

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Jonathan Wright

Expertise

I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

Organizations
WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Publications
Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

Education/Credentials
BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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