See young mountain lion use research equipment as ‘fun new toy’ in New Mexico desert

Officials set up trail cameras to capture compelling shots of wildlife in New Mexico — and ended up catching the mischievous antics of a young mountain lion.

The wildlife officials posted the adorable photo on Bandelier National Monument’s Facebook page on Wednesday, May 31. It shows the cub facing what officials said was another camera — with the corner of its twin clamped between its jaws.

“This young mountain lion thought that the camera set up was a fun new toy,” officials said in the post. “Good thing we had 2, so we could capture this cute moment.”

People shared their delight over the photo in the comments.

“Good of you to provide enrichment for kitty,” someone said.

“Hey, I got me a new Chew Toy!” someone else joked as if from the perspective of the mountain lion cub.

Officials determined the approximate age of the cub by markings on its coat. Stripes on the mountain lion’s legs are visible, but most of the baby spots — which help camouflage them and keep them safe as newborns — have faded into the tawny coat sported by the adult cats of the species.

“This cub still has some more play time before it grows up and goes off on its own,” officials said.

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