A home surveillance camera captured 5 mountain lions, typically solitary animals, hanging out together

A home surveillance camera captured five (!!!) mountain lions hanging out together. It's quite the rebrand for the animals, which have previously been thought to be the epitome of antisocial.

Seeing one mountain lion is rare enough -- the animals tend to both avoid humans and stick to themselves, the exact opposite of a pack mentality.

That's what makes this occurrence so special: a home surveillance camera captured five (!!!) mountain lions hanging out together. It's quite the rebrand for the animals, which have previously been thought to be the epitome of antisocial.

"We shared the videos and photos with several of our wildlife biologists and none of them could recall ever seeing five mountain lions together in the same photo or video," California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Peter Tira told CNN affiliate KTXL.

Typically, the only time mountain lions are seen together are during mating season or when a mother is raising cubs.

Tira told KTXL that one of the mountain lions captured in the video looks larger than the others, so they assume that one is the mother. But he doesn't believe all the cougars are from the same litter.

"Potentially could be two different age classes, some yearlings and maybe a 2-year-old lion that she may have had earlier," he said.

Mothers also typically chase their cubs off after a year, so even a glimpse at this sort of family gathering is rare, he continued.

Though mountain lions have been previously thought of as extremely solitary, recent research has shown they may be more social than previously thought.

A study published in 2017 tracked 13 mountain lions and filmed their behavior, finding that the animals would sometimes share kills or overlap territories -- going against conventional wisdom of mountain lions as extremely territorial.

This isn't to say that mountain lions are social butterflies. The animals still tend to interact infrequently -- about once every 11 or 12 days -- but they're not loners either.

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