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Monday, September 29, 2014

A Mountain Lion Kitten

In a gully that I know that bears and mountain lions love, I discovered that my trail camera had captured some of the sweetest mountain lion photos I've seen.

A young mountain lion was walking cautiously up the gully, and for some reason, my camera caught his attention.
His eyes were glued to it. This photo also shows the stripes on the inside of his left front leg, a sign that he's a young one.
His brow furrowed as he tried to figure out what the camera was.
Being young and bold, he started to approach the camera.
He lowered his body to move even closer.
He seemed to decide it wasn't a threat.
And took another step closer. He actually looks kind of cute to me, in a kittenish-way.
Then, he decided to rub his face and neck on the camera. I think he was marking it although it's possible he was just sniffing it.
Then, he departed, with a final photo of the tip of his tail.
I saw no sign of his mother on that trail camera. She could have been moving on a slightly different path or they could have split up for a brief period (that's common as kittens grow up). This kitten look a little too young to be completely on his own yet.

About a month ago, I captured photos of what I believe to be an adult female mountain lion, not too far away from where the kitten was photographed. The interesting thing about the photos of the female was her incessant calling - which could have been for her kitten. Look at that gape!
She stood in that clearing and called about three times. She let loose with her final call as she walked out of the clearing.
I really wished I had an audio recording of the sounds she made. I suspected that she was calling a kitten who she'd become separated from but I don't know for sure. I wonder if the youngster in the first series of photos is her kitten. It's fun to try to piece together the wildlife stories underway in our forest.

I adore finding photos of mountain lions on my cameras. The level of lion activity in our neck of the woods has been so high this year. I'm not sure why - although one notion is that some summer logging activity in other sections of the forest has caused the lions to spend more time in the undisturbed parts of the forest.

I'm being extra careful with the Duo so they aren't off-leash at the times of day when mountain lions tend to move through our neck of the woods.

20 comments:

  1. My pack would suggest that kitten needs a leash:) Fun trying to figure out what they do and why.

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  2. I would say the mountain lion IS cute. And what an amazingly beautiful photo of Shyla.
    Blessings,
    Goose

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  3. sweet shyla in the explosion of color. :) cute lion youngster!

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  4. Amazing images!
    Does your camera have little red lights when it is on IR? My goatcam does, and one of my goats, Lily, became fascinated by it right away, and would stare at it with great concentration. Most of the others ignore it.

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  5. Very cool photos of the litten. And of the female calling,, It would be so fun to know if they were family!
    We love your cameras in the wood! So many storys they tell.
    And we love the beauty of Shyla!
    love
    tweedles

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  6. Using the clues to solve the mystery...sounds fun.

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  7. How very cool!!! Loving these wildlife shots (as long as there is at least one labra-shot among them ;-))!

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  8. What a fabulous photo of you, Shyla! The mountain lion kitten is cute!

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  9. Great photos of the "kitty"!
    Would your dogs chase a mtn. lion or would the mtn. lion chase your dogs? Either way, I'm sure it would not end well for the dog so I can certainly understand your extra caution.

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  10. What beautiful shots of the curious kitten! I loved the expression on his face as he approached the camera. Pretty cool if you have his mama on candid camera too! Lovely portrait of Shyla at the end. Our leaves haven't changed color yet!

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  11. I would be so worried about the dogs!

    Those are really great photos.

    Monty and Harlow

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  12. What fantastic pictures you captured. I think the kitten might have heard about selfies
    Lily & Edward

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  13. WOW! Your kittens are bigger than our outside kittens!

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  14. Wow, that is a lot of activity you are getting lately! Love those trail cams! Pic of Shyla was brilliant!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  15. What great pictures of your big cats and kittens. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Oh my gosh, that kitten is so cute!! I love your trail camera photos!!

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  17. We had a mountain lion spotted not too far from where we live. Thankfully it wasn't me that spotted it! LOL

    Is that Mama Kitty collared? It sure looks like she might have a collar on.

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