An unexpected guest gulped water straight out of a backyard swimming pool in Arizona, almost as if it was its own personal water dish, videos show.
Kimberly Weeldreyer posted photos and video of the thirsty mountain lion in a Facebook group for Scottsdale residents on June 20. The lion was spotted at her neighbor’s house at the end of a cul-de-sac in their development, she said.
The video shows the lion crouched over the corner of the pool, eyes scanning its surroundings as it laps up water. At one point, the lion seems to glance toward the homeowner as they film from behind a sliding glass door.
The home is in a development north of McDowell Peak in north Scottsdale, 12News reported.
“I’m like, ‘That’s a big nasty kitty cat,” Weeldreyer told the station.
The development is at the base of Troon Mountain, she said in comments on the post.
Many in the comments marveled at the cat’s beauty, while others said they felt nervous by how close the lion came to homes where pets and people live.
“There are always sightings at Troon and we are so close,” someone said, adding that it ”freaks (them) out.”
“She’s just a thirsty kitty,” someone else said.
“The water is so low & drying up,” someone said. “Here in AZ we need storms bad.”
It’s not uncommon to see mountain lions and other wildlife venturing down from the mountains and into residential areas in search of water during the hotter, drier months, according to officials with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Those water sources include swimming pools, bird baths, and pet water dishes.
“If they’re stressed during rising temperatures and lack of water they will seek water, food and shelter where they can find it,” said Mark Hart, spokesperson for the department in Tucson. “It’s not so much about location, but conditions on the ground involving heat and lack of water that probably drove it in.”
Around the same time last summer, two lions showed up to drink at pools, he said. Down south in Tucson, which has had virtually no rainfall, the department has seen at least one lion every week since late May, he said.
Unless the lion starts exhibiting predatory behavior, such as stalking, “it’s not a cause for alarm,” he said. And once monsoon season starts, usually around July 4, people should start seeing mountain lions and wildlife less often.
“The lion depicted in that photo probably went right back to where it came from after getting something to drink,” he said.
He encouraged those who spot mountain lions and wildlife in residential areas to contact the department’s 24-hour hotline for guidance at 623-236-7201. There’s also information on living with wildlife available on the department’s website.
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