Pride of 8 central Washington cougars in one photo: here's the truth

WILDLIFE — A trail cam photo that shows eight cougars in one frame (click “continue reading” below) has been going viral on Northwest websites and e-mail lists since a hunter shared it with friends on Christmas day.

As usual, not all the the information in the anonymous e-mails is correct.

But Wednesday, after tracking down the man who made the photos, and collaborating his info with wildlife biologists who looked into matter, the real story is even better than the made up stuff.

All the details are in my Thursday outdoors column.  But first a few facts to dispell the misinformation in the circulating e-mails, of which I've received at least eight:

— The images are from a motion-activated camera a hunter placed on a private ranch near Moses Coulee northwest of Quincy.

—The cougars were not feeding on a carcass.  No carcass was in the area.

“Cougars are notoriously territorial,” said Jon Gallie, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's biologist in Wenatchee. “Seeing eight in one spot is a wildlife jackpot.”

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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