Wow, The first picture that we had doesn't do it justice. This one really shows how far up there he had to climb. Still seems like they would get torn up a bit but I'm sure they are much more accomplished climbers than I am.
You say this is fairly common down there? What would be their purpose for outting themselves in that position? Not saying it isn't true just don't understand why. At least in a real tree they can hide in the branches. You think maybe just a panic flight response or something?
I don't know much about mountain lions, but I can't imagine a cat climbing a cactus like that without a real good reason. I also don't know much about cacti, but it would seem that one that big might have some pretty serious spines on it. I'm guessing that this cat was trying to get away from something - probably dogs - but that's just a guess, of course.
Thanks for that picture - it really does emphasize the height of the cactus a lot more than the closeup of the cat that we saw before.
A member of another board I am on is the one that shot the photos, and after shooting the photos, shot the lion. I have not confirmed who it was because I don't know them, but my friend, a moderator on the site, has confirmed it.
Yes, it was "treed" by hunting dogs, which is legal in Arizona. They have not come out publically because of all the negative attention that seems to come with chasing game with dogs.
So, maybe there were some similar photos a few years back, but this is a legit, recent event.
Hunter, or Jaybe, whoever mentioned climbing trees instead of cactus. Problem is, in this area, there are no trees. You have to travel miles in some cases to find a tree in which a mountain lion could hide. The big cacti are the tallest and most numerous thing out there.
A perk of majoring in wildlife biology in college is the plethora of hunting knowledge that you collect throughout your course load. One of the most important factors in whether an area can hold large quantities of animals or produce large antlers is forage.
Most universities, state schools and even community colleges offer basic botany courses and plant ID courses. Although it might not be feasable for the average middle age hunter to pay tuition and go back to college to learn hunting...