Puma, Torres del Paine National Park

A puma, aka mountain lion, walks along a ridge.

Puma at Dusk, Chilean Patagonia

In May 2016 I went to Torres del Paine National Park with two friends in search of pumas or mountain lions as we know them.   The park is on the Chilean side of Patagonia.  We had great success in that we saw 18 different pumas in six days and photographed twelve of them, as I recall.  It involved a lot of hiking. This puma, however, showed itself when we were driving back to our hotel after sunset.

Pumas are protected in Chile, but they kill some sheep and the ranchers shoot them without regard to the law on ranches throughout Chile (and Argentina).  Fortunately, many more pumas are safe today thanks to the work of conservationist Doug Tompkins and his wife, Kris, who have bought millions of acres of ranches and converted those lands into national parks with the cooperation of Chile and adjoining Argentina.  Unfortunately, Doug died in a kayaking accident in December of 2015.  His wife, however, continues his legacy.  For more about Doug Tompkins, see this article.

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About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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