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Ghost Canyon

Nature: Pumas - Legends of the Ice Mountains
(DVD / NR / 2021 / PBS)

Overview: In a hidden realm at the end of the world, amidst the massive ice mountains of Chiles Torres del Paine National Park, condors soar, colorful caracaras keep a sharp eye out for prey, graceful guanacos roam, and vivid pink flamingos make a theatrical appearance.

DVD Verdict: Aside from all that idealist ambiance, this kingdom is the stronghold of the puma, a large mountain lion that hunts for guanacos (cousins of llamas) from the valleys to the hillsides.

Follow the fate here in Nature: Pumas - Legends of the Ice Mountains of a female puma in her prime as she hunts and teaches her four young cubs how to live in this extraordinary landscape.

In one of the most fascinating documentaries that I have seen in a long time, we quickly learn that Pumas have large powerful, slender bodies of up to 2.5m long, with long necks, small heads and a thick, heavy tail of 75cm long.

Their hind legs are longer than their front legs, elevating their rear for jumping. Their coats are pale, sandy grey, enabling them to camouflage well in the Patagonian steppe, and they have a white belly, chin, throat and upper lip.

Indeed, the Patagonian Puma is the largest of the species in the Americas.

Pumas are solitary animals, only generally travelling in groups as females with cubs. Males are territorial, but share their territory (marked by urine and excrement) with at least one female.

They will den in / under trees, and in rocky crevices or hollows. Pumas are largely nocturnal but do get out and about during the day as well, covering up to 75,000 acres in range.

They mostly feed on guanacos, rheas, maras, small rodents and deer, and occasionally attack domestic livestock and sheep.

Watching along here as a female puma in her prime hunts and teaches her four young cubs how to live in this extraordinary landscape, we are also taught that the Puma is fully protected in Chile and is classed as Near Threatened due to years of hunting by farmers protecting their livestock.

Furthermore, the Patagonian Puma can be found throughout Patagonia from Arica to Magallanes, in woodland, steppe and mountainous areas, but is most easy to spot in Torres del Paine National Park (amongst other National Parks). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.