For Colorado mountain lion AM06, every day is like "The Truman Show" for felines -- the authorities are always watching. A satellite signal snaps his exact location every three hours as he wanders his 230-square-mile territory from Nederland to Lyons. If he stalks cattle or a beloved pet in the exurban foothills above Boulder, he may be lured, trapped and shot with high-velocity beanbags to scare him away for good.
DNA samples of AM06 sit on file in a state Division of Wildlife building, and if AM06 becomes a proud father, wildlife agents will probably tag and follow the scampering kittens.
Halfway through a six-year study of cougars in the suburbs -- the elk-eating kind, not the bar-hopping divorcees -- AM06 is a well-known quantity. At any given moment, researcher Mat Alldredge can print out a terrain map showing the prowling puma's every move for an entire month.