One of the most popular exhibits at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum features Cruz, the mountain lion, in a beautifully designed “habitat” that fits the cat perfectly and allows visitors to have eye contact with a rarely observed animal. Based on my reference photos of Cruz, I sought to capture both his strength and peacefulness. I have spent many hours in puma country in Arizona and have seen tracks, scat, and fresh kills. Without doubt, I have been observed many times by these secretive creatures. Large carnivores have been persecuted intensely, and states like Arizona still allow hunting (one hunting blog says “The Grand Canyon State has more lions than it knows what to do with”). Unfortunately, human development is isolating the cats in smaller patches of habitat. In Prescott, Arizona, I work with the Granite Dells Preservation Foundation to save as much as possible of prime puma habitat next to a rapidly growing urban area. Mountain Lions are impressive survivors, and like them, when it comes to preserving their habitat, we are not caving in.