A mountain lion on the trails of Big Bend National Park in Texas began stalking its prey near a group of hikers, leading to a brief moment of uncertainty for the group. That uncertainty eventually became relief, and then amazement, when the hikers realized that the mountain lion was not hunting their group, but rather a deer.
“This is so cool, man,” hiker Robert Turner says in his own video of the encounter, a story that will delight campfire crowds for years to come. “I’m not taking my eyes off this guy. He wants nothing to do with us…He’s getting ready to pounce.”
A few brief seconds later, the cougar did indeed pounce; and the crowd of revelers got to witness nature’s food chain unfold exactly how it should.
The magnificent moment between mountain lion and deer occurred at the end of March on the Pinnacles Trail of Big Bend between Juniper Flats and Boulder Meadows, according to USA Today. Reactions and comments on Youtube mostly wondered aloud if the hikers should have been more quiet as not to disturb the cougar’s hunt.
“I’m surprised that the mountain lion was able to catch its prey with all the conversation taking place,” one viewer wrote.
“[The cougar] was very polite,” Turner wrote in a tongue-in-cheek response. “Thanked us afterwards for providing the distraction.”
“That was awesome!” another viewer wrote. “A real once in a lifetime moment caught perfectly. Seriously perfect distance and the fact that you were so calm. They pick up on their surroundings vibes so to speak. And he was so comfortable he was locked in on that deer! You see him do the butt shake thing just before pouncing. Very cool.”
A few hundred miles west of Big Bend, a mountain lion in California also decided to give humans a fright recently
In the middle of a cool California night in March, Lake Mission Viejo resident Valerie Strowski awoke in a panic. Her frantic husband was saying something about a mountain lion in their backyard; and when the pair opened the door to their balcony, there it sat.
Strowski, a Lake Mission Viejo resident for eight years, said she had never seen anything like this before.
“We don’t really get coyotes and the bigger animals out by the lake, anyway,” Strowski said. “I don’t think they like the water.”
Storwski also said the mountain lion appeared to focus on a fake fish in the pool that belonged to one of her four children, possibly mistaking the toy for live prey. The cat then stalked its way down to the dock on her property, staring across the lake for about 15 minutes before leaving for good.
“It looked so peaceful,” Strowski said. “My neighbors have been teasing me this morning and saying that it came to our house because it must have liked the view.”