Mountain Lion, Cougar, Panther or Leopard? Which One is It?
If you’ve ever gone for a jog along the Central Park Drive near 76th Street, you probably experienced the same shock as I did when I first spotted the menacing statue to the left.
It’s a very naturalistic sculpture of, well, let’s just say a ‘cougar’ for the time being. It was made by a man named Edward Kerneys in the 1880s and placed on a ledge in its current position in 1937. Since then, it must have scared millions of unsuspecting joggers and other innocent passers-by!
I’ve seen it called ever name in the big cat book, so I finally decided to look it up to see which one it really is.
It turns out that, yes, it’s a cougar (aka, mountain lion). It could also be called a panther but panthers encompass leopards and other big cats (except lions) and panthers that aren’t cougars give out a horrific cry whereas cougars only hiss and purr.
This one definitely doesn’t look like it’s purring. At least, that’s what Christopher Middleton finds out when he heads past it in Central Park Story Book One.