Rare photo shows 8 cougars on Washington state game trail

Unusual proximity of so many mountain lions probably possible because of familial relationships-

Several factors probably explain how 8 cougars, very territorial animals, came together to feed on a dead cow on a cliff near Soap Lake, Washington.  The first is that it is winter. Prey are concentrated into a small area and in this case most of the cougars were probably closlely related (both indicated in the article).  It isn’t know how often this happens, but it is probably uncommon.

We saw these photos about 2 weeks ago.  Wish we had permission to be the first to post them.

Rare photo shows 8 cougars on game trail. “Using a camera triggered by a motion-sensor device, a hunter captured a rare sight: eight cougars huddled together on an Eastern Washington trail as if attending some big-cat block party.” By Craig Welch. Seattle Times environment reporter





  1. Mike Avatar

    Crazy. I was told there was no cow, but rather there were probably a few hudndred deer downslope in a field, and that’s why the cougars were there.

  2. Phil Avatar

    Could this be a new adaption solution to a stress factor?

  3. WM Avatar

    People should probably know this is high desert – coulee country in the interior of WA in the Columbia Basin. No forests here, and with precipitation about 9 inches or so, it is pretty dry. Tops of the plateaus are mostly wheat fields. Steep cliffs surround the plateaus on several sides. Valley bottoms are greened up some from a string of alkalai lakes (hence the name Soap Lake), and actually pretty sparse of people, with lots of center pivot irrigated fields, and yes, cows.

  4. bret Avatar

    rare but not unheard of, probably mom and her kittens, moms sub adult daughter with her kittens.

    the info i heard no cow carcass was involved.

  5. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Cougar territories have to contract during the winter to follow the game herds just like wolf terrritories do.
    If the biologists would get out and put up non-invasive cameras like the one used for these photos, they might find out lots of new information.
    A friend just sent me a video of four cougars he recorded traveling together from a similar camera setup in Colorado.
    Too many of today’s biologists put a GPS collar on an animal and then sit in an office and watch the signals on their their computer screen.

    1. steve c Avatar
      steve c

      Only you can turn this amazing story into an anti-collaring rant. Wildlife biology is extremely hard work (simplifying it into sitting infront of a computer screen is insulting to the people who spend thousands of hours in the field). Please be honest with everyone here that you are against collaring because it taints your business which is selling wildlife photos.

  6. Savebears Avatar

    Extremely rare situation, most people are lucky to see one cougar in their lifetime, let alone capture a picture of 8 at one time, I spend a lot of time in the woods and still don’t think I have seen 8 in the last 20 years 1 at a time…

  7. jdubya Avatar

    Finally! After all the crap they take,the carnivores of this country are organizing and are going to fight back. This is just one a series of meetings they are having around the state to coordinate their responses to continued unacceptable human encroachments upon their historical hunting grounds. They are fed up and they aren’t gonna take it anymore!!

    1. wolf moderate Avatar
      wolf moderate

      Sounds like these cougars are affiliated w/ the tea party!

      1. Salle Avatar

        I think they were here all along and have no political bias, the teabaggers are a new toy for wealthy zealots.

      2. Mike Avatar

        They’d be much heavier and unattractive if that were the case.

      3. Salle Avatar

        And they would have gone extinct long ago due to their ignorance of the fact that they are their own worst enemy in that they can’t think for themselves and too lazy to actually hunt.

  8. freeanclear Avatar

    Did i miss something in the article about politics, teabags, partiers etc…..seemed like a pretty positive item to cheer about without adding the vitriole,,, enjoy it, dont poo poo something positive for crying out loud.

    1. Savebears Avatar

      Not going to happen around these parts freeanclear…

  9. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    A friend of mine in Montana once told me he had seen five adult mountain lions together. This is only the second time I have ever heard of this.