While Team Avatar was staying in Ba Sing Se, three pygmy pumas attacked Momo when the winged lemur ventured out into the city searching for Appa. Before they could catch him, however, they were all captured and sold to a butcher. When Momo escaped his cage and prepared to flee, the caged pumas whimpered for help. Momo freed them, and the animals all escaped together. Having formed a friendship, they retreated to a rooftop, enjoying the view of the city. Noticing the piece of Appa's fur Momo had tied around his wrist, one of the pygmy pumas tore it off and ran away with it, its two companions and Momo in tow. They led the flying lemur to a footprint Appa left behind when he stood in the mud. As a forlorn Momo curled up in the middle, the pumas sat beside the print and watched.
The pygmy puma is a smaller, sleeker version of a puma that is bred for compact city-living. A short haired animal dark green or black in coloration, it has sharp claws at the ends of its large, five fingered paws, though lacks the typical vestigial fifth finger that most felines possess. Its eyes are green with light brown marks underneath.
This carnivorous cat seems to be a social animal that lives in the Earth Kingdom in clowders. These medium-sized, muscular felines can be found in the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se, where the poverty of the district has allowed them to remain unregulated and has helped them adapt to the urban environment. This habitat has molded their skills as hunters to adapt to the city; they are able to scale walls, fences, and other structures as well as leap from building to building with apparent ease. Though they possess a ferocious side with sharp fangs and claws that causes the other creatures that inhabit Ba Sing Se to try and avoid the puma at all costs, pygmy pumas seem to be quite affectionate animals.
This cat is similar to the jaguarundi, a close relative of the puma. Jaguarundis are found throughout South America and in much of Central America, while pumas are widely distributed from the Yukon in Canada through Argentina. Despite the pygmy puma's resemblance to its namesake and its inspiration, these felines act more similarly to a domesticated house cat in their affectionate state.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Creature: Pygmy Pumas.
- ↑ Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Estoesta, Joann, Wahlander, Lisa, Huebner, Andrew, Scheppke, Gary, MacMullan, Lauren, Mattila, Katie, Ridge, Justin, Volpe, Giancarlo (writers) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (September 29, 2006). "The Tales of Ba Sing Se". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.