The term "cougar" gets thrown around maybe a bit too liberally in popular culture, even warranting a sexually-charged entry in the Cambridge dictionary... but here's the literal "original" definition:

A cougar (noun) is a large, brown wild cat that lives in North and South America.

There ya go, that settles that. What kind were you thinking from the headline?

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife puts the mountain lion population anywhere between 3,800 and 4,400 different lions in the state, which includes cougars, pumas and panthers. There's a good chance at some point in your own Colorado adventures, you've seen one lurking somewhere, and there have been plenty of cases documented where they've made their way from more wildlife-friendly areas into the cities along the front range.

But one special cougar took a more publicized and high-profile journey than most recently. Bit of a spoiler alert, however: this story doesn't have a happy ending, unfortunately.

"F66" — so named by researchers from the Utah Division of Wildlife Services — made quite the trek from the Beehive State to the Centennial State in 2022.

"Sixty Sixxer" — as she was known to close friends, I would imagine — made a remarkable 1,000-plus mile journey from the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, up into Wyoming, back into Utah, then east into and through the Colorado Rocky Mountains to make it to the eastern plains.

She was tagged in Utah and compiled one of the longest GPS-tracked journeys of wildlife on record — ever.

She crossed over major interstates several times, swam across rivers, and, on some days, logged more than 20 miles of covered ground before ultimately meeting her demise in Eastern Colorado.

Scientists determined she was likely killed by another cougar in the wild, unfortunately.

And while they don't know her exact motivation for traveling so far across the western states, they do say this behavior is common specifically for cougars, which take a one-way journey across hundreds of miles to find a new forever home.

You can watch her entire journey in the video on YouTube. RIP, Sixty Sixxer. Hope you found whatever it was you were in search of here in the Centennial State!

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