In the past two weeks, we have been setting out deer baits throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains in hopes of collaring 1-2 new pumas and re-catching a couple of collared individuals. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of our biologists and hound dogs, the pumas all managed to evade us!
While this was disappointing, the team did run into this little cub hiding in a tree while in pursuit of its mother in the forests south of Big Basin State Park. Luckily, photographer Tom McElroy was along for the chase and spent a few minutes snapping off some lovely photos of this little guy (or girl) before leaving it to find its mother.
We estimate this cub to be about 5 month old, old enough to be pretty mobile but still entirely dependent upon its mother. Tom’s photos provide a rare and incredible glimpse into this kitten’s life.