Trail camera footage captured a cougar stalking a coyote — with the clip’s audio revealing its brutal fate.
In trail camera footage, that was shared on Facebook by Nathalie Orozco via Orange County Outdoors, a coyote is filmed on the prowl in Black Star Canyon in Santa Ana Mountains, California.
However, the coyote is too distracted by its own hunt to realize that there is a cougar, also known as or mountain lion, tailing closely behind it.
The trail camera captures the mountain lion noticing the coyote and sensing the opportunity to score its next prey. The mountain lion stealthily pounces behind the coyote — ready to kill.
While the mountain lion’s ambush of the coyote occurs in the darkness beyond the trail camera’s infrared light, the audio dramatically reveals the prey’s likely fate. The coyote is heard in agony as the mountain lion attacks.
“Here’s what likely happened during this video clip: the coyote was trotting along as they usually do and unaware of the mountain lion which just happened to be walking along his normal route,” Orange County Outdoors explains in the Facebook post.
“Just before entering the frame, the mountain lion noticed the coyote and went into action to secure his next meal. Notice how the mountain lion pounces quietly rather than sprinting.”
According to Orange County Outdoors, a coyote can usually outrun a mountain lion if they are aware that they are being pursued by one. However, mountain lions are “ambush specialists.”
The mountain lion in the trail camera footage is known as Toro and is a younger male. USA Today reports that a scouting mission the next day turned up coyote fur but no carcass. It is possible that the cougar had hauled its kill off-trail.
Mark Girardeau, who featured the footage on Orange County Outdoors, tells USA Today: “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.”
PetaPixel previously reported on a trail camera that captured intense footage of a grizzly bear ferociously chasing down a band of wild horses in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Image credits: Header photo via Facebook/Nathalie Orozco/Orange County Outdoors.