LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A trio of “camera trappers” are on the hunt in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Johanna Turner and Robert Martinez have paired her tracking abilities with French-born Denis Callet’s photography skills to capture some playful and intimate moments of elusive creatures in the Angeles National Forest.

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A pair of bear cubs wrestling, a bobcat rolling on a sunny rock like a lazy house cat and a mother mountain lion nursing her two kittens – they’re images the trio have obtained using a camera rigged with a motion-sensor flash.

“You get to see the animal’s normal life and their normal behavior. And they’re not affected at all by our presence,” Turner said. “You can hear purring and they nurse for a while and then they all nap together and it’s the most incredible thing.”

The king of these mountains: the cougar. It’s an animal Martinez says lurks much closer than many hikers may realize.

“I have lions that on video caught 10 minutes from where people park their cars. It’s amazing. They use the whole entire wilderness,” he said.

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But often times it’s the smaller animals taking up more than their 15 minutes of fame, using up battery power and memory.

“You start watching them and it’s squirrel after squirrel after squirrel. I start cursing squirrels and I wish they were never around,” he laughed.

There’s also a lot of trial and error.

“Making sure the focus is right, making sure the batteries work, fixing the damage to the cables that the bear – the bear keeps pulling the cables off and breaking them so the flashes don’t go off,” Turner explained.

But when it works, Callet says he gets a feeling like no other.

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“It always gives me goosebumps when I see a lion,” he said.