PHOENIX — Something is living up on Camelback Mountain; something small, fluffy, and very cute! One lucky hiker got the chance to film a group of Arizona ringtails up close and personal.
Crystal Hetu posted the videos to the Hike AZ Facebook group on Saturday, showing off a trio of the usually skittish creatures.
She says that she sees them often on early morning hikes on Camelback Mountain, but usually only one at a time. Most often they're gone by 5 a.m.
Crystal said that, normally, she only sees one ringtail up on the mountain, and they're usually gone by 5 a.m. But this past Saturday was really something special, and Crystal captured this footage of three ringtails around 4:30 a.m.
According to the National Park Service, these critters are fairly common but rarely show themselves; they often hide away in rocky canyons, caves, hollow trees, and sometimes buildings.
Although they're often called ringtail-cats or miner's cats, our state mammal is actually not a cat at all. Ringtails are part of the procyonidae, meaning they're more closely related to raccoons.
These little omnivores will eat just about anything but prefer fruit, insects, and smaller reptiles or mammals, as well as birds and bird eggs.
It's a lucky experience to get to see just one on a hike, so congratulations to Crystal for getting a moment with a whole group!
WE ❤ ARIZONA
Explore amAZing people, places and things across our state on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.