Cougar Photo

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Posted by John ( on 10:11:32 05/14/14

This is a photo (not a very good photo but my one and only) of my first and only cougar sighting in Yellowstone National Park. It was on the Slough Creek campground road in early spring.

Here is the story:

May 18th - Saturday morning. Slough Creek Campground road.

As we were watching for bears and wolves, there were five coyotes making a ruckus just a little ways down the valley from us. The wind was blowing hard and the three fellows who were spotting with me took off to get out of the cold wind and go further down the valley to see how thing were looking.

Just when I was starting to walk towards the dirt road, a woman walked up to me and said that the coyotes had a cougar treed in some dead fall just below us. I had watched the coyotes running all excitedly around the dead trees and barking/yipping up a storm. We all walked very cautiously down the hillside to see what was happening.

The cougar had jumped out of the tree and was holed up in a bunch of dead trees that were bordered by a small pond. The five coyotes were on top of a small hill above the dead trees and pond. The cougar was hemmed in. We watched from a safe distance to see how this story would unfold.

We could not see the cougar in the dead trees or snags for another name. We talked in hushed voices as we shared our feelings about what was taking place. The air was charged with excitement and anticipation of what was happening before our eyes.

After about 30 to 45 minutes of being harassed by the coyotes, the cougar stood up. The coyotes hushed and backed away as the cougar slowly walked away from the situation. It walked for about 1000 yards in an open area. This thrilled everyone as video and 35 mm cameras sped through their film. What a thrill!

Each trip we make to Yellowstone is full of fun and adventure, no one trip is ever the same. I guess that is such with life. I am glad this story had a happy ending - the cougar and coyotes just parted company as did all those who witnessed this rare event. We were just thrilled and excited to have been able to participate in such a rare experience.

I love it! It couldn't get much better.

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