WATCH: Trail Cam Captures Mountain Lion Sneaking Up on Coyote Under the Cover of Darkness

by Sean Griffin
watch-trail-cam-captures-mountain-lion-sneaking-up-coyote-under-cover-darkness
(Photo By Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Coyotes are typically sneaky and alert, but this one didn’t live up to that billing. A trail camera captures the moment a mountain lion spots it in the Orange County, California nighttime wilderness.

In the footage, we see a coyote trot along a path at night. A few moments later, after the coyote has passed out of view, a large mountain lion pounces on the trail and follows the coyote up the trail. For a few seconds, you can’t hear or see any action onscreen. Then, the coyote starts making panicked noises in the distance.

Photographer Nathalie Orozco captured the video on Sept. 27 in an undisclosed area of Orange County. This is according to Mark Girardeau of Orange County Outdoors, who told McClatchy News in an email.

The video can be seen here or below.

However, we still aren’t exactly sure whether the coyote got away.

“After checking the area, we noticed lots of coyote fur but did not locate a kill so we’re uncertain of the outcome,” an October 5th Facebook post read. “Our guess is that the mountain lion was successful based on other nearby cameras which showed him hanging out in the area for the entire night afterwards.”

The post continued: “A coyote can outrun a mountain lion (given proper notice) but mountain lions are ambush specialists.”

While mountain lions normally eat small and mid-size animals, they are known to attack and kill coyotes every now and then.

According to estimates, between 4,000 and 6,000 mountain lions live in California. However, that number is difficult to verify.

Colorado Teens Catch the Moment a Mountain Lion Takes Down Elk

On Wednesday, February 9th, a few high school students encountered a mountain lion attacking an elk in Routt County, Colorado. One of the teens caught the incident on video.

“Check out this video sent in by RMEF follower Hoyt Raffay outside of Oak Creek, Colorado,” the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation wrote in a video caption posted Thursday, Feb. 10, on Facebook.

The foundation’s post had more than 1,300 shares by 3 p.m. the next day. Nearly100 people had commented on the video as well. While some were rooting for the elk, others wanted the mountain lion to get its meal.

Reached by the local newspaper, Raffay told them he submitted the video to the foundation. However, the clip was actually captured by his 15-year-old friend Tanner Cole-Wheeler. He was riding in a pickup truck driven by 18-year-old Sophia Benjamin when they observed the attack.

Benjamin said the group of four students from Soroco High School were headed from the Stagecoach area to Oak Creek on County Road 14 at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when they saw something coming off the hill.

Soon, they realized they were witnessing a mountain lion attacking an elk. Then, they watched the attack for about fifteen minutes until they were pretty sure the elk was dead.

“I’ve seen elk and other wildlife, but I’ve never seen a mountain lion before, so it was a very cool and a rare thing to see,” Benjamin said.

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