Three cougars strolling on a B.C. beach were caught in some amazing snapshots last week by a couple who live on the Sunshine Coast.
Greg and Mary Carter saw the animals from the window of their waterfront home on Flume Beach in Roberts Creek on Jan. 2. Greg managed to take some photos from their deck as the cougars ambled just metres away.
"We'll probably never see them again. Cougars are private. They don't normally hang around humans," Greg Carter said in an interview with The Huffington Post B.C. on Thursday.
Conservation officer Dean Miller told CBC News he thinks it was a mother and her two adult cubs who were probably looking for food. He said they appeared thin.
Miller said it's rare to see a cougar, let alone three, Global reported.
Carter sent his photos to a neighbour who emailed them to his son — who posted them to Facebook. "Now we know what the word viral means," he chuckled.
Conservation officers are keeping tabs to make sure the cougars don't return. Cougars who become a threat to people have to be put down as they cannot be succesfully relocated. Last week, a female cougar found prowling in an Okanagan community had to be euthanized.
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Future actress Melanie Griffith lies in bed beside her pet lion Neil, who lies under a blanket, in Sherman Oaks, California, May 1971. (Photo by Michael Rougier/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
We bet you can't guess his favorite TV show. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/KMWdr">Image via Imgur</a>)
Moses, a 7-month-old elephant calf, walks through his home past pet dogs in Lilongwe, Malawi. Moses was adopted by the Jumbo Foundation after he was found alone and close to death in the Vwaza Wildlife Reserve. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
He's all tucked in and ready for bed. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/KyIse">Image via Imgur</a>)
This sea lion always falls asleep poolside. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/hTHAt">Image via Imgur</a>)
This baby fawn helps himself to some Lucky Charms. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/HYyDX">Image via Imgur</a>)
This panda has a firm grip. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/W65zc">Image via Imgur</a>)
Kathy Noble gives a hug to her favorite pet 'Baby Boomer,' an 11-month-old Eastern Grey Kangaroo, in Hartley Vale, Australia. Noble rescued Boomer after his mother was killed by a car. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
He wanted to see how the family photo turned out. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/ldsdY">Image via Imgur</a>)
A poignant family portrait... (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/aRFJ8">Image via Imgur</a>)
Since he's part of the family, he thought it was alright to photobomb this wedding kiss. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/fcFhy">Image via Imgur</a>)
They act like brother and sister. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/fNT8j">Image via Imgur</a>)
This is his favorite spot on the couch. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/H71kr">Image via Imgur</a>)
This elephant likes to play in the backyard too. (<a href="http://imgur.com/gallery/GzxHu">Image via Imgur</a>)
Irwin sits in his bean bag chair with his owner, Christie Carr. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
NEXT: Most Extreme Penises In The Animal World
The penis of the African elephant is not just the largest of any land animal -- it's also prehensile. Here's an elephant displaying his gigantic appendage at the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The blue whale has the largest penis of any living organism at an average length of 8 to 10 feet. Here's the preserved, dried tip of a blue whale penis on display at the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Echidnas are not only extraordinary for being among the last surviving monotremes (a branch of mammals that lay eggs), but also for having weird, four-headed penises. Here's the penis of a Tasmanian echidna.
Here's the crazy corkscrew-shaped penis of <em>Cairina moschata</em>, also known as the Aylesbury duck, which is a breed of domesticated duck.
The penis of a humpback whale is normally concealed within the animal's genital slit until it is extruded. This video shows the penis of a humpback whale near Ha'apai in the Kingdom of Tonga.
Southern Right Whale
The ginormous testicles of right whales actually rival those of blue whales, and are among the largest of any animal. This video shows a rare Southern Right Whale mating group.
Alligators sport permanently erect penises, according to recent research. Here is video of a dissected alligator's penis that snaps into mating position when the pelvic nerve is tugged.
Young female hyenas produce hormones that cause the clitoris to swell, resulting in a large "psuedo-penis." Skip to 1:23 in the video for a better look.
Relative to body size, barnacles have the longest penis of any animals. Here, a video shows the penis in action.
The tapir also has one of the highest penis-to-body size ratios. Here's a video to see the tapir penis for yourself.
Mating is painful for female cats. It's not the biting that hurts -- it's the male's penis, which has over 100 tiny barbs. Here is video of how a cat's barbed penis works.
The equivalent of a penis in snakes and lizards is the hemipenis, which is kept inverted within the body until needed. Here's the hemipenis of a crested gecko (<em>Rhacodactylus ciliatus</em>), which hails from southern New Caledonia, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.
The penis of an orb-web spider detaches after sex. Here's a view of the detachable penis (left); a male without one is on the right.
With all those violent-looking spikes, the penis of <em>Callosobruchus maculatus</em>, or Bruchid beetle, is pretty scary. Here's a close-up look.
The penis of the freshwater <em>Gambusia quadruncus</em>, also known as a Llanos Mosquitofish, has four hooks with which to grab females. Here's a magnified view of the genitalia.
NEXT: Weirdest Animal Mating Rituals
Angler Fish: Just A Little Clingy
The next time you think your mate is getting a little too attached, just be glad you're not an <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A22547838" target="_hplink">angler fish</a>. According to an h2g2 post, when a male angler fish finds a mate, he clings on for dear life. Perhaps because the angler fish is so horrifyingly unattractive, he feels that any less drastic measure would surely lose her. Thus, he bites into her, attaching himself permanently, linking his blood supply to hers. While she provides nourishment to him, he offers her sperm whenever there are eggs to fertilize. Fair trade-off?
Octopuses: A Man's Greatest Fear
A man's greatest fear? Discovery Science reports that in the <a href="http://science.discovery.com/top-ten/2009/mating-ritual/mating-ritual-01.html" target="_hplink">octopus</a> world, it's actually expected that a male's penis will break off during mating. Fortunately, it grows back in time for the next mating season.
Hippos: Where Poop Is A Turn On
There may have been a "Jerry Springer" episode about this... A male <a href="http://science.discovery.com/top-ten/2009/mating-ritual/mating-ritual-10.html" target="_hplink">hippopotamus</a> attracts a female by spraying her with his feces, Discovery Science reports. And who says bathroom talk isn't sexy?
Flamingos: Just A Touch Of Makeup
Flamingos may use pigments from gland secretions to improve the color of their feathers, thus attracting better mates. A <a href="http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/10102624-beauty-from-the-bottom-up.html" target="_hplink">study</a> from the Estacion Biologica de Donana in Spain found that there was no particular reason for flamingos to alter their colors, except for mating purposes. L'Oreal and Maybelline should look into this new potential client base.
Midges: It Sucks
A <a href="http://science.discovery.com/top-ten/2009/mating-ritual/mating-ritual-08.html" target="_hplink">midge</a> engages in intercourse by sucking out the male's bodily fluids. Enough said.
Garter Snakes: One Big Orgy
For the<a href="http://www.neatorama.com/2007/04/30/30-strangest-animal-mating-habits/" target="_hplink"> Red-Sided Garter Snake</a>, orgies aren't just a fantasy, they're very much a reality. But men, don't get too excited yet. According to Neatorama, it's the females who have sex with hundreds of partners during the mating season. The snake ladies release a pherome to attract the men and quickly a "mating ball" forms, which is, just as the name implies, a big ball of snakes trying to mate.
Porcupines: It's No Hazing Ritual
This <a href="http://science.discovery.com/top-ten/2009/mating-ritual/mating-ritual-02.html" target="_hplink">porcupine</a> mating ritual could easily be confused for a fraternity hazing ritual. But, according to Discovery Science, a male porcupine will shower a female with his urine before mating, and there's no keg stand involved.
Horseshoe Crabs: If You Like Long Walks On The Beach...
It's like an ad in the personal columns: "seeking mate for summertime romance on the beach under a full moon." Except that for <a href="http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/animalcourting/" target="_hplink">horseshoe crabs</a>, this isn't romantic, it's just their regular mating ritual, WIRED reports. This anthropod only mates under these seemingly idyllic circumstances.
Elephants: Keeping Romance Alive
Who said chivalry was dead? The male <a href="http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/animalcourting/" target="_hplink">elephant</a> takes his time to woo a female, courting her over a period of weeks before mating. While flowers and chocolate aren't included, the male does bring the female food and squirt her with water.
Mosquitoes: A Little Love Song
Who knew such an obnoxious insect could be so very romantic with its own species? <a href="http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/animalcourting/" target="_hplink">Mosquitoes</a> flap their little wings, producing various sound frequencies (or to us, an annoying buzz). While the male normally produces a sound around 600 hertz, the female makes a 400 hertz sound. But compromise is key with these buggers. Both sexes are willing to adjust their sound level to create a harmonic match.
Snakes: Like A Magic Trick, Only Better
According to a BBC article, not only does a <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A22547838" target="_hplink">snake</a> have <em>two</em> intromittent organs, but it also has the ability to turn its penis inside-out to better fit the female.
Dolphins: A Gay-Friendly Community
<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A22547838" target="_hplink">Dolphins</a> are quite a progressive species. Not only are they considered one of the most intelligent animals, but according to h2g2, dolphins also engage in openly gay sex. Male dolphins have been known to practice various forms of intercourse with other males, experimenting with different holes.
Ducks: This Is Just Bad
Apparently some animal species don't find rape quite as abhorrent as we do. The male <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A22547838" target="_hplink">duck</a>, also known as a drake, has a phallus so large that it can be the length of the drake himself, according to an h2g2 post. Due to his size, the drake can have sex with a female without her consent. It is not uncommon for a group of drakes to force a female to have sex, occasionally even drowning her. But the female duck has some defense mechanisms. She has the ability to store sperm in a side chamber and eject it if she is unsatisfied. It is thought that female ducks have evolved to create a complex genital passage due to the threat of unwanted sex.
Bowerbird: Not Just a Bachelor-pad
The male <a href="http://www.nileguide.com/blog/2010/03/10/the-most-ridiculous-animal-mating-rituals/" target="_hplink">bowerbird</a> doesn't settle for just any old bachelor-pad to woo his mate. Instead, NileGuide reports that he takes the time to decorate his nest, collecting feathers, flowers, berries, and shells to beautify his home and woo female Bowerbirds during mating season. The female Bowerbird chooses the nest that she likes best, and settles in with a male for the season. Perhaps men <em>should</em> spend a little more time decorating their apartments.
Cats: The Horror
It may sound like an erotic horror film, but a male <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A22547838" target="_hplink">cat</a> has hook-like barbs on his penis, h2g2 reports. During intercourse, the penis cuts the female, encouraging her to ovulate.
NEXT: Animals Eating Human Food
Wolf Eating Watermelon
They don't get Jolly Ranchers out in the wild, so this is the next best thing.
Chipmunk Eating Corn
Chipmunk cheeks are the BEST!