WATCH: Mountain Lion Caught on Camera Devouring an Elk

by Jon D. B.

In one of the wildest wildlife encounters you’ll see today, watch as this mountain lion feasts on an enormous elk right outside someone’s home.

Never. Underestimate. A cougar. And we’re not talking Stacy’s Mom, here. We’re talking the North American mountain lion; the most awe-inspiring predator on the continent (and by awe-inspiring I do also mean terrifying, yes).

Your average elk will outweigh a cougar by 500 to 1,000 pounds. But this doesn’t stop one of our country’s apex predators from taking down this far larger prey. Grey wolves do the same, yet it takes an entire pack. Solitary by nature, mountain lions will hunt out and take down enormous elk all by their lonesome. It’s rare, but new research points to it being more common than previously thought.

Regardless, such seems to be the case for this big cat, or so we assume. The kill isn’t captured on camera, but the blood-stained coat of the cougar is enough to let us know she is indeed feasting on the elk – right outside the filming party’s house:

Posted to the popular Hunter Pages Instagram, resulting footage shows someone looking through a window to observe the feast. As they do, the mountain lion spots them; letting out two big ol’ hisses. She’s not happy to be watched as she eats, to be sure. But who is?

Thinking twice now that she has an audience, the cougar loops back to the cover of the woods. The placement of the carcass against this person’s house, too, raises the question: Did this big cat kill the elk? Or is she simply smell another hunter’s kill and come in to feed?

Clues to Cougar Kill: Mountain Lion & Elk Tracks Abound

If you want to figure out what went down at the scene of a snowy crime, look to the tracks. There’s a mess of markings and tracks just uphill of the elk, which certainly looks to indicate some sort of struggle. One thing’s missing, however, and that’s a trail of blood.

Cougars are highly efficient predators, but taking down prey as large as an elk requires a momentous struggle. Big cats go for the jugular when they can, and will rip out a cervid’s throat to bleed them out. This, as you can imagine, creates a whole mess of blood. And nothing shows up on snow like a fresh kill.

With no blood spatter or trail present, it’s likely that this mountain lion happened upon a human hunter’s kill outside their home. But it’s also possible that the big cat made her kill right there, cornering the elk against the house and taking it down. If this is the case, then the blood’s spilling beneath the carcass and she’s dining on her own spoils.

Whichever the case, one thing’s for certain: This person will never forget looking out their window to this sight.