I hate to do this, because it ruins the stone cold image I work so hard to foster, but this damn cub is so cute I actually experienced something akin to an emotion when I saw it.
It was found at the base of a hillside recently here in Western Montana and is being rehabilitated prior to being turned over to a zoo. Apparently cougars can't be released into the wild after being habituated to humans. The cougar is currently at my wife's work the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
The story goes that these little buggers are very cute and friendly while they're tiny, but then they switch on the apex predator mind. I guess I'll know when that happens because my wife who is fawning over this little guy right now will come home with 3 or 4 fewer fingers than she has today.
Seriously, please don't imagine that I don't understand how vicious these animals get as they grow. I've been on cougar hunts. I get it. But, still he's cute right now.
Photos by: Jesse Lee Varnado
Enjoy the cuteness.