Caught on camera: Trio of mountain lions drink from backyard water feature

Unlikely visitors grab a drink

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Taking a photo of a big cat in the wild is always a thrill, but how about three? That was the reality for one Sabino Canyon resident, his chance encounter with wildlife also serves as a warning.

Terry DeWald wakes up most morning to some wildlife, as his home backs up against Sabino Canyon. However, Wednesday morning was a little more special than most.

"I just couldn't believe what I saw," said DeWald, as he looked over his balcony, down toward his water fountain. "Right there at those three hot totis, are the three cougars drinking."

The mountain lions, also known as cougars, took in as much water as they could from the fountain, as they wait for monsoon rains to fill their natural watering holes.

"And they drank and they drank and they drank," said DeWald. "It was a mother and twins about a year and a half old."

Mountain lions drink from backyard water feature (Source: Terry DeWald)
Mountain lions drink from backyard water feature (Source: Terry DeWald)

DeWald is no stranger to the canyon or its accompanying wildlife. He is on the Board of Directors for Friends of Sabino Canyon. He says it is extremely rare, even for him, to see this kind of wildlife tapping his backyard water feature.

“They are extremely thirsty, they’re way late. A lot of the watering holes up Bear Canyon and Sabino Creek are dry,” according to DeWald.

The reluctant monsoon weather means more wild animals could be venturing into nearby neighborhoods.

"A lot of them come back down to swimming pools and fountains and things like this that probably wouldn't happen if the streams were running right now," said DeWald.

His message to residents is to stay alert and keep an even closer eye on their pets.

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