Categories: Puma

Do pumas eat snakes?

Puma. Picture in pubic domain.

Having read the entirety of the section on the feeding ecology of pumas (mountain lions) in the best book on the wild cats, Wild Cats Of The World, I have failed to find any reference to pumas eating snakes. Google can’t help me either. I can’t find a single image of a puma with a snake on Google Images.

That does not mean it never happens but it must mean that it is exceedingly unlikely. Snakes are not the sort prey animals that pumas chase and kill. In North America deer make up 60-80 percent of the puma’s diet.

However, pumas are opportunistic predators. They kill and eat prey in size from mice to moose and are individualistic in their preferences for prey. Also the pumas of Hato Piñero, Venezuela, not infrequently prey on reptiles (almost 10 percent of their scats contained reptiles). Snakes are reptiles. And the question is, do pumas eat snakes? The question does not ask if pumas attack snakes. If a dead or dying snake presents itself to a hungry puma I’d expect it to be eaten.

Therefore I am not going to write-off the possibility of pumas eating the occasional snake. I will now ask any visitor who has first hand knowledge of this to make a comment to assist me by adding to the page. Thanks in advance if you have responded to the request!


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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