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Monday, December 19, 2016

Mountain Lion Works on His Prey

Two days ago, I wrote about a mountain lion that had killed a cow elk nearby. His pattern so far has been that he arrives at the carcass as it's getting dark, eats the carcass on and off during the dark hours, and then leaves the area at about shortly before first light in the morning. For the day, he doubtless makes a day bed in a very secluded spot to sleep and digest.

I've been seeing his tracks in the snow in the general area where I'm guessing that he makes his day bed. Each day, he walks past one of my trail cams as he heads for bed. The spot where my trail cam is seems to be a "touchstone" for him. His tracks swerve out of his way to walk through that little clearing early each morning. Here's a photo from the clearing.

He usually arrives at the carcass either just before or just after darkness falls.

Then, he eats sporadically throughout the night. Here's a bit of footage from his first night eating the almost intact carcass.

As you'll see in the coming days, the combination of this mountain lion, coyotes, and corvid birds will use up every single bit of nutrition from this elks' body. It's very sad to me that she had to die but it is comforting to know that her body won't go to waste.

I feel so fortunate to be able to document how a mountain lion behaves when he earns such a huge windfall of food. I hope that you enjoy watching it!


  1. That is just awesome that you can get photos of this. What a privilege and a treat.

  2. Wow! Love seeing these videos
    Not Naughty,
    Lily & Edward

  3. Amazing and beautiful.

    Aroo to you,

  4. Such interesting photos. Glad that you can coexist with your different schedules!

  5. Beautiful! I know how you feel about losing the elk (who probably was a new mom), but we know this is how nature works and why it's so beautiful. perfect balance. I document tiny little insects who's life span can be as long as 7 weeks to as little as 5 days. And it's astounding to me how these short life spans are so abundant in supply (well most, some are endangered, like the hummingbird or certain bee species), and how important they are to the world around them despite their short lives. Death is just a part of serving nature and the life cycle. I've heard people say that there's no dignity in death but for many species, it can be the ultimate gift to the life cycle. Nature is beautiful, cruel, humorous, sad, happy, silly, serious, hopeful and above all, always balanced. No matter what humans do to nature, I have a feeling nature will always win.

  6. Such interesting images and videos. I'm curious to see who else you are able to document using this kill.

  7. It must be tough to always have to be on guard for what is going on around you - but it doesn't seem to stop this guy from getting his meal:)

  8. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. The lion reminds me of those moments, when sitting down to a well prepared meal, that you just want to enjoy the beautiful plate and acknowledge the work it took to get it on the table!

  10. Gorgeous pictures! He looks so healthy and strong!

  11. Wonderful images, KB. What an opportunity! Thanks for sharing with us!

  12. Great photos and video KB. Such a powerful animal! Thank you for sharing.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing these. Eerie, humbling, beautiful.


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