Los Angeles: Pumas, long known as solitary carnivores, are more social animals than previously thought, according to a new study. The study is the first to quantify complex, enduring, and "friendly" interactions of these secretive animals, revealing a rich puma society far more tolerant and social than previously understood.
"Our research shows that food sharing among this group of mountain lions is a social activity, which cannot be explained by ecological and biological factors alone," said Mark Lubell from University of California, Davis in the US.
Pumas have been assumed to avoid each other, except during mating, territorial encounters, or when raising young. The population studied interacted every 11-12 days during winter.
That is much less frequent than more gregarious species like meerkats, African lions, or wolves, which interact as often as every few minutes, researchers said. To document social behaviour, the scientists had to follow pumas over longer time spans.