While trekking through the rocky terrain of southern Nevada’s Sheep Mountain Range, one intrepid hiker managed to discover a rare find. Hidden in a small cave were the desiccated remains of a mountain lion—dried out like a mummy. Search and rescue workers training in the area were called in to retrieve the carcass, which they said will be handed over to a research group.
“We do a lot of Recoveries, this one though was really interesting. At the request of the US Fish and Wildlife we deployed into the Sheep Mountains to recover a mummified Mountain Lion so its remains could be studied,” wrote Red Rock Search and Rescue on Facebook.
Animals in the wild can mummify if they are kept in a place that is either very cold, very dry, or where fresh air is absent. Natural mummies are especially common in salty environments and peat bogs, where chemicals and bog acids can perfectly preserve skin. Scientists value mummified animals because they offer a unique look into animals that are long dead but are still relatively well-preserved. The 15-person Red Rock team was accompanied by a biologist and helped to load the cougar into a cardboard box for transport.
“It’s just dried out. Think of a mummy. Everything’s just desiccated. The skin’s still intact. It’s still around the bones. The bones are all there,” rescue worker Olivia Nizioled told Fox8.
You can see a video of the retrieval below:
Image from Facebook