How is a mountain like a pioneer? Both embody the spirit of persistence and perseverance in a rugged, wild, land, forging their own paths and remaining ever-mindful of any opportunities that might present themselves.
Like American pioneers, mountain lions aspire to stake out territories of their own in a suitably sized habitat. For mountain lions, that can happen when subadult young are anywhere from 12 to 24 months old and are either grown or fully grown. It's not an easy task, either -- while females sometimes stay close to their mothers and share neighboring territories, young males commonly disperse long distances to claim domains of their own.
One subadult male was documented to have traveled almost 2,500 km (over 1,500 miles) before being struck and killed by a car. That's an all-too-common occurrence for mountain lions, especially dispersing ones; imagine having to dodge territorial adult male lions and tons of metal flying by at 70 miles per hour!
The road to a new life is a tough one, as mountain lions know. While American pioneers headed west, mountain lions are currently looking eastwards and slowly attempting to reclaim parts of their former range. It will be a long process, and the lions will need all the help they can get from us along the way!