Within days, a mountain lion killed an elk extremely close to that spot. The lion chose the spot in front of my trail camera as his marking and toilet spot. Here he was on the first morning when he'd killed the elk within hours before. Note the blood on his chest.
He ended up choosing this as his touchstone spot that he passed as he approached and departed the elk carcass.
In the video, you'll see that he often dug up a spot with his hind paws. Sometimes he did that to make a depression for his scat. Then, he'd spend at least a minute covering up his scat using his front paws to move pine needles and snow over it. It seems so odd that the biggest predator in our forest covers his scat so meticulously, as if he's hiding it.
I felt so lucky to get such amazing views of this secretive carnivore. Here he was returning to his feast one afternoon. Lions eat their prey at night, and then they sleep all day. Usually, they sleep some distance from the carcass. This guy seemed to be sleeping during the day about 3/4 mile away (I had a cam there too - this lion was really cooperating with me!). The footage was in last week's video although I didn't yet know why a lion kept walking past the cam!
He spent a total of 4 days decimating the carcass. I found the carcass just after he'd departed for the last time. I didn't know that he'd given up on it so I set up cams pointed at the carcass. Alas, the lion had sated his appetite and moved on. Red foxes finished the meal.
Here's a video of the lion's activities at this touchstone spot where he marked vigorously.
That's some very thorough peeMail!ReplyDelete
my friend lives in Brookfield WI, just north of Milwaukee, they have a cougar in town, a lone male, peeking in peoples windows. they are trying to capture him, think he came for North Dakota. this cat in your video is just plain gorgeous. the face markings make me want to cuddle him. lol on that... they are very much like a house cat in a litter box..ReplyDelete
I didn't know that domestic cats do that same thing in a litter box!Delete
Haha, I just realized that if that WI cougar is a male, he is a "peeping Tom"!Delete
LOL, like Sandra, I was thinking how very housecat-like the lion looked when it came to toileting! This is wonderful footage KB!!! YAM xx
He is gorgeous! How awesome to get that footage of him.ReplyDelete
Wow, what wonderful footage! It's also like he is playing to the camera!ReplyDelete
Such an amazing video. It is kind of funny watching the big cat cover his business so well.ReplyDelete
Maybe he was so careful about covering it up because he had a kill nearby and didn't want to attract anyone to it? That's so cool to watch!ReplyDelete
No privacy there when toileting!!! he was being so careful, and what a huge feast over those days.Love the story and the photos. Magnificent animals.ReplyDelete
A cooperative lion. Can it get any better? Great observations.ReplyDelete
It is so neat to "spy" on the mountain lion's daily rituals. What a great video!ReplyDelete
Gee, and all I get are possums and raccoons and my feral cats... but I love watching them, too... how cool you can watch this huge cat!ReplyDelete
One busy lion! Hope the blood stains come out of his furs.ReplyDelete
How considerate of that lion to give you such great footage - just what we all needed:) And should I be wishing the pups were as good at the cleaning up after themselves - LOL.ReplyDelete
When you found the carcass did you leave a camera there? love to see all the action around the carcass over the following weeks. just askinReplyDelete
Yes, I had the sense to retreat and call a friend to go back with me. He and I placed two cams there. I already know that the lion had already taken off. However, red foxes were feasting on the scraps left behind!Delete
You always have the most amazing foootage on the InternetReplyDelete
Hazel & Mabel
I would like to be a lion... eating the whole night and sleeping through the day... not bad ;O)ReplyDelete
Such an incredible predator. Good to see you got some snow.ReplyDelete
KB,, you really know what your doing in capturing all this wild life! This is awsome!ReplyDelete