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USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr

Mountain lion plays with golf course flagstick like a carefree house cat with a simple toy

It's like watching a cute kitty play with a ball of yarn.


Josh Katzowitz

Internet Culture

Posted on May 27, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 6:08 pm CDT

“If you spot a mountain lion,” a man once told me at a party, “that means the mountain lion has seen you for the past couple miles. And that means you’re in trouble, because it means that the mountain lion wants you to see him.”

“Well,” I asked my stoic buddy, “what do you do if you see a mountain lion?”

His ominous answer: “You fight to the death.”

Luckily, we now have another option. You can simply present a flagstick to the lion and watch it have a ball with its new toy.

Take a look at the 18th hole of this golf course in Arizona, where spectators wisely kept their distance from the huge cat that intruded on their recreation—only to watch (and record) as it began playing with the flagstick.

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The king of the mountain truly looks like a regular house cat playing with a ball of yarn, and gosh darn it, it’d be so cute if only we didn’t know that it could climb over a 12-foot fence, soar 15 feet up a tree, and sprint at speeds of up to 50 mph.

Although mountain lions don’t usually attack humans—which is good news for my friend from the party—it’s probably best for anyone who spots a mountain lion on a golf course to stay back—or, at the very least, let it play through.

Photo via USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 

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*First Published: May 27, 2015, 8:15 am CDT