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Can you spot the hiding mountain lion ready to attack?

For The Win logo For The Win 7/7/2020 David Strege
a large elephant standing next to a forest © Provided by For The Win

A hard-to-spot mountain lion patiently waits for the right moment to attack an elk feeding in a gully at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico in a photo posted by the refuge.

The elk was unaware of the predator’s presence, and at first glance one can understand why. The cougar is very well hidden. So much so, even many viewing the image on the refuge Facebook page admitted not being able to spot the mountain lion. (The answer is revealed below.)

The photo was captured by a trail camera as part of a monitoring project looking at the success of restoring arroyos at the refuge, located about 150 miles northeast of Albuquerque.

The Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge asked visitors to “share this and find out how many of your friends can actually spot this elusive predator.”

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“That was tougher than I thought it was going to be,” one commenter wrote.

“Oh wow! It took me a long time, but I finally found it. Such amazing camouflage!” another wrote.

“Congrats to the person who was reviewing these images! I would have moved right on past!!” said yet another.

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Other comments:

“I’d be dead since I still don’t see it.”

“I can’t find it even when I expand the size of the picture.”

“Found it but took about five minutes.”

Mountain lions are stealthy creatures, and typically they will see you before you see them. They hunt at night and often are lying in wait for prey or silently stalking it before pouncing from behind and delivering a lethal bite to the spinal cord, according to The National Wildlife Federation.

If you still need help locating the cougar, it’s circled in this photo:

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So what happened to the elk?

“We are not sure,” the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge wrote on Facebook. “The elk moved on and the puma moved out into the open and towards where the elk was. We are not sure what finally happened.”

Photo courtesy of the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge.

Follow David Strege and the outdoors on Facebook.

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