Massive Mountain Lion Plays Shell Game in Jaw-Dropping Viral Video

by Megan Molseed

Mountain lions are fierce wild animals that stealthily stalk their prey, navigating the dangerous wilderness while surviving the elements. They are also – at times – just big kitty cats. A fact made clear by this impressive video depicting a tamed mountain lion playing the shell game to uncover its favorite stuffy. A prize that the mountain lion is overjoyed to score once it picks the right bucket.

If anyone has ever wondered how easy it is to fool a mountain lion, this clip shared on Twitter likely gives us the answer. And the answer is a little bit of yes and a little bit of no.

In the clip, an apparently tamed lion is playing the “shell” game with three buckets and its favorite stuffed animal. The person in the clip shows the lion that the stuffed animal is under the first bucket. As soon as the mountain lion sees the toy it’s clearly excited when it sees the stuffed animal. However, the animal must play a fun little game first.

The person then covers the toy with the first bucket and switches it around with bucket number 2. The mountain lion watches this happen and you can almost see it all click. It looks back and forth between the two buckets. The lion certainly saw the toy under the first bucket … but the human did move the buckets. You can almost see this thinking process go through the lion’s mind as the animal looks at each deciding which bucket to go for.

Where, Oh Where Could That Stuffed Animal Be?

After considering its options, the mountain lion soon moves over to the first bucket. However, it’s still not entirely sure that this is the right guess. The animal pauses a few times, glancing at bucket number two before finally deciding on bucket number one. The person turns this bucket over, and the stuffed animal isn’t there.

While the mountain lion does peer into the bucket as if to check whether or not the toy got stuck inside, it also glances at the other bucket as if the animal is realizing its prized toy is actually under there. So, the mountain lion then moves to this bucket. Waiting for the person to flip this one over and (hopefully) reveal the stuffed animal. This reveals that (ta-da!) that is where the toy is. The massive lion couldn’t be happier! The animal excitedly grabs the stuffed animal, hopping around as it paws and chews on the toy, rolling around on the floor while goofing off with its stuffed animal buddy.