JACKSON, Calif. (AP) — Five California mountain lions were seen together on home surveillance video in a rare gathering of the notoriously solitary big cats.

The footage was recorded at a rural residence at the edge of the El Dorado National Forest east of Sacramento, KTXL-TV reported Wednesday.

"We shared the videos and photos with several of our wildlife biologists, and none of them could recall ever seeing five mountain lions together," said Peter Tira, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

He called the images "extraordinary."

One of the cougars is bigger than the others, so scientists speculate it's the mother lion. The others are likely her cubs, but Tira does not believe all of them are from the same litter.

Mothers often chase off their cubs after a year, so seeing a family of them is uncommon, he said.

According to biologists, the only time mountain lions are spotted together is either during mating season or when a mother is raising her cubs, but typically only three at most are seen together.

"They're not very tolerant of other mountain lions in their territories," Tira said.

With more home surveillance systems going up, biologists are getting more images of mountain lions in their habitat than ever before, he said.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading the Daily Journal.

Please purchase an Enhanced Subscription to continue reading.Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase an Enhanced Subscription to continue reading.