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8 mountain lions at once on trail cam

They don't exactly hunt in packs, don't travel in herds and aren't typically thought of as communal beings.

The image of the mountain lion as a stealthy, solitary beast is woven into the fabric of the American West.

And yet there they were on a game trail in Eastern Washington — eight
creatures famous for being loners, all huddled together as if attending
some big-cat block party.

Brad Thomas captured the images a few days before Christmas on a
trail camera, triggered by a motion sensor, set up on private land in
Douglas County. He submitted a disc of photos to cougar experts with the
state. After reviewing and discussing the images among themselves, the
biologists declared the pictures extraordinary — a rare glimpse of
fellowship among the West's common but elusive mountain lions.

"The pictures are 100 percent legit," said Jon Gallie, the assistant
district biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
in Wenatchee.

Thomas initially set the cameras up along an old cattle trail to get
pictures of deer and bobcat. What he mostly captured instead were
cougars — first one, then two and eventually many more.

"I was tickled pink," said Thomas, 54, a Chelan County resident. "I'd never even seen a cougar."

Cougars — males in particular — are highly territorial and typically
roam alone. But it's actually not unheard of for female parents and
offspring to coexist. It's been documented here and in the Rockies by
experts using radio-collared cats and global-positioning systems.

What is exceptional, however, is humans witnessing such behavior — even if only virtually.

"It's a pretty outstanding thing to see, even for those of us who do
this for a living," said Gary Koehler, a carnivore specialist with Fish
and Wildlife.

The only similar image Koehler could recall was one from the 1960s of seven cougars crossing a bridge over the Stehekin River.

Washington state is home to some 2,000 to 2,500 cougars. Gallie said
interactions between them are most common in winter, when heavy snows
push prey such as deer downslope into narrow valleys, forcing predators
to hunt in evermore confined spaces. The heavier the winter, the more
"piled up" creatures get, he said.

Gallie's best guess is that the photos show a female cougar with her three kittens and a daughter from a previous litter with her three kittens. Females sometimes set up home ranges near their mothers and have occasional rendezvous.

Beyond that, neither Gallie, Koehler, nor other wildlife biologists
could say with any certainty what was happening in the pictures.

"We don't know if this was a chance event, or something they
communicated," Koehler said. "Perhaps it's like bumping into your
neighbor when you go out to get the mail.

"We're starting to discover that they're just more social than we
once thought," he continued. "Not like African lions, of course. But
they do a lot of communicating."

Just Thursday, in fact, Koehler and other researchers were tracking
an adult male cougar in the Blue Mountains in southeast Washington as
part of a study. They came across scraped-up piles of twigs and grass,
covered with urine.

"It was like a giant 'No Trespassing' sign," he said. "They were probably just advertising their presence."


Added: Jan-31-2013 Occurred On: Jan-31-2013
By: bgwrkr
In:
Nature
Tags: moutain, lions
Location: Washington, United States (load item map)
Marked as: featured
Views: 54961 | Comments: 210 | Votes: 16 | Favorites: 18 | Shared: 7007 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Lmao mountain lion swinger club!

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

    (11) | Report

  • I have been studying Mountain Lion habitat for years and have never seen anything close to this. You'll see a momma and her cubs but never adults congregating together like this. Wouldn't want to be hiking around that Washington Street Gang at night. Very cool upload. VOTED

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @Fire37Rescue Apparently if you are attacked you grab them at the back of the jaw or something. They can't leverage it when you do that. Have you heard about this?

      Posted Feb-1-2013 By 

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    • @mr nice
      I have never heard of that. I have only seen one person killed by a mountain lion and that was in Southern California. He was attacked from behind,ambush style.The attack was just minutes from my home at the time.
      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-01-09-mountain-lion_x.htm

      Posted Feb-1-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'bgwrkr' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I guess if you run into them with your new Diane Feinstein six shot clip you are going to end up as couger scat.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @dav1936531 Preach! *Invisible vote*

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @dav1936531 so everyone should have a large cap firearm on them at all times to prevent a large social group of cougars mauling them? Please proceed making further dumbass pro gun arguments that repel intelligent people from your cause. I think that guns should be taken away from stupid people. Starting with you.

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @Stooch In case you haven't seen some of the "Asian" gang attacks on some of the European population, it's not unlike a group of wild animals such as these cougers.

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'drewbehr' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @drewbehr But they will never get past HER armed guards. See, guns are only bad if YOU have them.

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Hey anti-gunners: yet another reason why some of us who aren't urbanites might have a need to carry firearms that you may not readily fathom. We've had mountain lion sightings in the woods near where I live. I've carried an AK before while out hiking as a precaution against them.

    So don't tell me: "nobody needs a gun like that".

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @Small_axe People who want to ban semi automatic carbines have never fired one. Neither have they seen a stary night, or heard silence before. They live in loud noisy cities where the only guns they see or hear of are from people robbing liquor stores.

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @FlREF0X ....I'm from the city and I agree with that statement

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @FlREF0X You could just carry a much smaller can of mace. its smaller. lighter and you cant kill a classroom full of children with it. More realistically speaking, if a cougar is stalking you, chances are you will see it when its biting the back of your neck to break your spine. And btw I did fire many semi auto rifles. They are fun toys. But have 0 practical use in day to day life for the vast majority of people. Get a new fucking hobby. Say I did wanted to kill you, hypothetically. All I have More..

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @Stooch Ah,kitty..
      Anyway.. um. Your cat distracted me. Mace can't stop someone. It will just piss them off. (I have been maced before and it was no worse than eating the Señor Serious Burrito at Los Primos Cantina in Santa Ana.) Having weapons proves to our government and the world that every citizen in the USA has individual freedom. If you despise the bill of rights you should just leave the country. Mexico bans guns, so these people can move there.

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • @FlREF0X if you love guns, how about YOU leave the country? go to afghanistan! everyone has guns there. oh and fuck you. dont tell me to leave my country you fucking prick. and we were talking about cougars. not people attacking you. If a person attacked you with an assault rifle, you will have no chance. As i have explained clearly.

      Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • When everyone told me there's large groups of rowdy cougars online, this isn't what I had in mind...

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Hmmm. Maybe some mountain lion cat lady feeds them every night.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • We have them trained as security for our grow op. This is the evening safety meeting.

    Bobby, bottom pic, thought someone lifted his payment of catnip but it turned out he was high and forgot where he put it.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Last picture... Mountain Lion on the far left is clearly the drunk starting the fights at the party.!

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • This is not a hoax, I live roughly 30 miles from where the picture was taken. What it does not say is that the cats are sitting on a cliff over looking a feedlot with several hundred heads of cows. We also ran a bike race right under the cliff a month later, the picture was encouragement not to be last.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'bgwrkr' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Just 60 miles from my house. I'm going to be more careful in those woods from now on.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Comment of user 'revmaster' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Big Cats are no joke, saw one in Northern California hiking lastyear and that bitch was at least 100 meters away and still made my butt hole pucker up.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Wow, thats awesome.. So cool that we have these awesome animals living in our country.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • It's feasible that social behavior could gradually become more common with Cougars, to better deal with more challenging living conditions. A good example is male Cheetahs, who are normally solitary, but recently have been commonly seen in small groups that coordinate their hunts for mutual gain as well as protection.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Howd ya like to walk into that while going for a piss at night lol,

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • What's the big deal? I can see that many cougars in the local bar every night.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • One of these walked out of the woods about 20 yards from me when I was outside playing as a boy. I about shit myself.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • There must have been some pussy around.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Comment of user 'drewbehr' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Hey, it was Bingo Night.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • I'm pretty sure cats having annual meetings. We got back from vacation once when i was a kid and when i walked into my bedroom there were our 2 family cats plus 5 other random neighbourhood cats, all sitting on the floor looking at me like "yes?" I had NEVER known our cats to ever hang out with other cats until that day and never saw it again. I still wonder wtf they were plotting. I'm sure these cougars were up to something nefarious.

    Posted Feb-1-2013 By 

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  • 2010 ??? ...dude

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Mountain lion doggers

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • holy fucking NOPE.

    Posted Jan-31-2013 By 

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  • Comment of user 'Damnthetorpedos' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!