The term “pride” is generally reserved for African lions, yet a California couple says that they have captured footage of a pride of mountain lions prowling through their backyard. Since cougars are generally solitary animals, the picture of four large mountain lions together has drawn some interest from both neighbors and wildlife officials.
“People would very rarely ever get a photo of four lions at one time, so this is kind of a unique photo,” Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told KCRA. “A group of four lions is usually a family.”
Tami and Bob Sutton caught the footage last month on a game camera they installed on their Georgetown property to observe wildlife. They had initially bought the camera late last year after suspecting that a predator was snatching up neighborhood dogs, but initially only recorded deer and birds. Then, on Feburary 19, Bob Sutton turned on his computer to find a perfect shot of four mountain lions in his backyard.
“I looked on his computer, and my jaw just dropped to the floor,” Tami Sutton told the Auburn Journal. “It was amazing and scary. We were in awe. We still are. It is awe-inspiring that we live where lions live.”
Experts believe that despite all of the lions appearing fully grown, the picture actually showed a mother and her three offspring. It is likely that the lions were in the neighborhood stalking the deer that occasionally passed through, or perhaps more worryingly, for pets. The Suttons said that at least one of their neighbors had lost a dog to the mountain lions, and several other pets have gone missing in recent months.
Despite that, Tami Sutton says she holds no ill-will toward the big cats. Sutton added that she is well aware of the fact that she lives in an area with an abundance of wildlife.
“We have lived on the Georgetown divide for 27 years,” Tami Sutton said. “We know we live amongst the wild animals. We know we have bears, mountain lions and everything in between.”