Out here at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, we're privileged to share this beautiful land with many amazing species that call this part of the country home - in this particular case, the mountain lion.
Lucky for us, our cameras are set up to catch glimpses of wildlife. This camera did just that: it caught this mountain lion momma and her cubs out for a nighttime stroll.
These big cats have many names: puma, cougar, catamount. Catamount means cat of the mountains. How fitting is that here in Sunol Valley?
These animals like to hunt during the night and at dawn and dusk -- likely why we have this moment captured on nighttime video.
In fact, a couple of folks who work at Calaveras have seen the mountain lions if they work the night shift or come in very early in the morning.
Sometimes they see a pair of gleaming eyes and other times, just a pair of sneaky paw prints across their dusty car hood!
Mountain lions' favorite prey is deer, but they also eat raccoons, porcupines and coyotes. Their sheer power and incredible ability to hunt in super stealth mode makes them particularly adept at finding food sources.
Because mountain lions are solitary and tend to shy away from people, they are seldom seen.
See you around the Valley!