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Nov 14, 2012 7:10 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Cyclists snaps photo of three mountain lions

SABINO CANYON - Hugh Garvey never expected to see three mountain lions when he set out on his morning bicycle ride last week.

Garvey was in the Sabino Canyon recreation area near the Sabino Dam overlook last Friday about 8 a.m. when he thought he saw three coyotes, "I still thought it was a coyote and only when I took the camera down and I had a look and there were three mountain lions in front of me."

Arizona Game and Fish spokesman Mark Hart says Hugh did in fact capture three mountain lions in the photo, "either a female with two kittens, estimated between 2 and 3 years or a large litter of siblings, same age."

Hart says the mountain lions were approximately between 60 and 80 pounds. He said though the encounter was rare, it's not uncommon as there are approximately 67 mountain lions in the Santa Catalina and Rincon mountain ranges, "everybody is getting along out there for some reason. It may be that the wildlife is habituated to the presence of humans." About 2 million people visit the Sabino Canyon recreation area every year.

Seeing the mountain lions is a privilege Hugh says he will never forget, "I was really lucky to see the three of them and even more lucky to be able to take the picture."

Hugh took the picture with a Sony steady shot camera that fits in his pocket, he estimates he was about 40 feet away when he captured the photos.

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