This mountain lion is the internet’s newest gay icon

Over Mother’s Day weekend, the internet found a new mother to celebrate: a mountain lion feeding her cubs.

The viral photo features an adult mountain lion posing next to a bloody goat carcass (warning: the goat’s body looks pretty gruesome if you’re sensitive to gore), while her kitten goes to town on the meal its mother caught them. The mother lion’s piercing stare and undeniable face card naturally captured the gays’ attention, who immediately dubbed her a gay icon. (The little lion is serving, too.)

The photo comes courtesy of Jeff Wirth, a wildlife photographer who, per his bio on X, is “obsessed with mountain lions.” The photo itself is more than a year old, but it captured the internet’s attention this weekend when it was reposted by a different wildlife account.

“It was apparent that this family; an adult female and her two kittens, had already been feeding for 2-3 days before I came along,” Wirth wrote on X. “Biologists have known that mountain lion predation on mountain goats exists when habitats overlap but this behavior is extremely hard to photograph.”

The photo got extra attention from the Nicki Minaj fandom (aka the Barbz), who felt the mountain lion embodied Minaj’s energy.

When Wirth noticed that his photo was getting attention from the Barbz, he decided to harness one of the internet’s most powerful fandoms for good, selling a special postcard and promising all the profits would go to a mountain lion conservation charity. Now that’s motherhood, in every sense of the word.

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