¡Hola amigos!

This week my new amiga, Qowa, joined Team Ancient Explorer and I wanted to introduce you to her.

Qowa is a puma cub and part of Team Ancient Explorer

Can you guess what kind of cat Qowa is? At first, you might think that Qowa is a leopard or a tiger cub because her tawny fur has black and grey stripes or spots but she is in fact a puma cub. At five months, Qowa is already as heavy as Otis! They both weigh 12 kilograms. When she is older, she will lose her spots and weigh as much as 65 kilograms! During the day Qowa likes to sleep, but becomes very active at dawn and dusk. She is also pretty quiet. She does not roar like a lion, but instead purrs.

The puma is also known as the mountain lion or cougar, and their scientific name is Puma concolor. They are found throughout the Americas, including the Andes. They live in a variety of habitats, including mountains, forests and deserts. They can swim, climb trees and run just as fast as the jaguar, which is about 65 kilometres per hour. They also have unusually long hind legs and this helps them jump across long distances.

Like me, Qowa is cusqueña, meaning she was born and lives in Cusco. Her ancestors were very important to the Inka. Spanish chronicles describe that the Inka believed that they were puma men and women. Inkan nobles, including the king, wore puma pelts during great celebrations, such as Qhapaq Raymi, which was held during our month of December. Inka craftsmen sculpted and painted pumas and other felines on pots, and also carved them in stone.

Ana Solana and Qowa standing together on the Steps of the great Fortress of Saqsaywaman

Qowa and I are looking forward to sharing our adventures with you! So, stay tuned!

¡Hasta pronto, amigos!

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