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Monday, January 29, 2018

The Dangers for a Coyote of Taking on a Mountain Lion

You may remember that I told you the story of a mountain lion who killed an elk. He was feasting on it but pesky coyotes would not leave him alone (part 1 and part 2). Based on the audio recording, it sounded as if coyotes were extremely close to him, circling him while barking in frustration.

My cams captured one near confrontation when the lion ran away as a coyote approached. In fact, every time I watched that section of the video, I thought that it looked as if the mountain lion was pouncing toward something rather than simply fleeing. I wondered if there was a coyote just outside the field of view of the camera who the lion was going after. (this clip is in today's video too).

Now, I am even more curious about that question because this coyote showed up nearby just after the chase. Note that he is not weighting his right hind leg at all. He headed for a birdfeeder and began eating birdseed off the ground.

Here's a Youtube video of the mountain lion and coyote interactions that I captured on camera plus the injured coyote at a nearby site shortly thereafter.

It's a hard life for the wildlife. I suspect that, unless the hind-limb healed miraculously fast, the injured coyote might not have make it, especially in the cold of winter. Moreover, the mountain lion risked his life to take down such a huge prey animal and then did not get all the nutrition from it as he could have due to the coyotes.

However, one key fact that always helps me to deal with the sadness that a prey animal was killed is that every last scrap of that elk was eaten by the lion or a scavenger. During the days, the carcass was covered in ravens, magpies, and Stellar's jays. By night, the coyotes kept working on the nearly bare skeleton even when it looked like it was stripped clean.

It's the cycle of life unfolding before our eyes. It's not always easy to watch but it's how the world works.


  1. Hari OM
    It is, and there's a kind of beauty even in that destruction... YAM xx

  2. Nature can sure be cruel but they need to eat and survive too.

  3. i know the life cycle is important to our wild life and our planet health, but it does make me sad when I see it. each animal and insect has its thing it was created for. like God's Garbage guys in the sky, buzzards, the coyote is a garbage guy on the ground

  4. It's hard to know who to root for. I love all the animals, but there is a cycle that needs to happen for them all to be healthy.

  5. Yes, nature happened and it's not always pretty.

  6. Wild animals are super efficient when it comes to the circle of life. Here's hoping your injured coyote survives.

  7. Mom has a hard time with the wild animals do what they do thing. She wants them all to be warm and fuzzy with each other, but that won't happen. We wish the coyotes around here would go away, but they are getting worse.

  8. It is difficult to watch, but as you say, it's the way the world works in the animal kingdom.

  9. I'm too soft...I can't watch those wild nature shows, it just makes me too sad!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  10. Sad to see, but that is the way of life in the wild.

  11. Ditto what the OP Pack said. And we really hope that coyote is OK!
    Cam and Mags

  12. That coyote should have learned from Wiley and got some exposives from the Acme company

  13. The cycle of life. We had a couple injured moose this fall and it was hard to watch them limping through our yard. One was so badly hurt we called the rangers but they can do nothing unless the animal doesn’t move for 48 hours.

  14. Huge risk and hard to imagine.
    I guess hunger gets in the way of smarts sometimes.

  15. Yes,, sometimes it is sad to see how "things really are in the wild". Excellent footage KB.



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