Coyote Confronts Mountain Lion, by Charles Wood

A friend sent me a video link of a coyote and a mountain lion interacting this month at Whiting Ranch, Orange Country California. In the video, a mature male coyote vocalizes at a mountain lion. The mountain lion was probably passing through the coyote’s territory. The coyote barred the mountain lion from going down a road. My guess is that the coyote’s territory is along and down the road.

The coyote made a stand. It told the mountain lion that it had better not go farther down that road. The coyote told the mountain lion that he was tough, persistent, and that he would continue to make noise if the mountain lion stayed around. Stealthy mountain lions don’t like noisy coyotes broadcasting their movements to all the other animals in the area.

In the very last part of the video, after the mountain lion went into the brush, the coyote’s ears were full forward. It had a lock on the mountain lion and wanted to be sure it was still moving away. The coyote didn’t pursue the mountain lion because the mountain lion did what the coyote wanted. The mountain lion gave the coyote its space.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. yipps
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 00:06:18

    A western coyote weighs only between 18 and 35 pounds, whereas a mountain lion is the size of a human, weighing between 100 and 165 pounds. The coyote here is definitely taking a strong stand, and his message is heard. For the mountain lion, it obviously was not worth the risk of fighting which might have resulted in injury. Any injury could lead to infection or incapacity which could spell death. Animals always weigh their options, and in this case, it was not worth the risk, or maybe the mountain lion just wasn’t hungry enough?

    Reply

  2. Barbara Knupp
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 02:16:24

    Wow I’d have thought the coyote would be lunch. Surprised at the close proximity of the two. Brave fellow but guess its another reason these guys survive and thrive despite man’s best efforts.

    Reply

  3. Gail
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 03:29:38

    Fascinating….and daring! I love seeing them in their natural state – when they don’t know they’re being observed :)

    Reply

  4. Charles Wood
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 07:10:53

    Hi Janet, Barbara, and Gail – A follow up: the mountain lion was captured Tuesday: http://fountainvalley.patch.com/articles/meet-the-whiting-ranch-mountain-lion

    It is a 100-pound male teenager!

    Reply

  5. Barbara Knupp
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 23:33:58

    Thanks for the follow-up! Seems he will have a secure future. Very interesting to see but happy that the biggest cat in our area is a bobcat who occasionally passes through while hunting. Understand that in a bobcat-coyote confrontation the coyote often wins but I expect they mostly likely avoid such encounters, if possible.
    Thanks again – Barbara

    Reply

  6. kat
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 01:03:25

    Cool! I recently wrote to the blog owner about some land I have purchased that has coyotes in the area. I’m in Illinois and mountain lions are coming back, ive seen one myself and they scare me. I know they’re common out west and I’m happy to see this video, makes me feel a little better about them. Ive been very interested in coyotes, because of my land, and mountain lions, because of the one I saw. Fun to come across this.

    Reply

  7. Barbara Knupp
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 13:37:54

    Mountain lions in Illinois?? Somehow always thought they were way out west. Enjoy watching coyotes. One day as my husband raked hay, a female coyote followed him around the field catching the mice thrown up by the rake. I watched one trot down the hill the other evening headed for hunting in the corn field. Thought I was hidden and a good distance away, still he stopped twice briefly glancing in my direction before resuming his mission. He didn’t seem particularly concerned about me – just a little surprised. Probably abit annoyed as well that the human invaded his field at dusk when we belong on our own territory – our house and yard.

    Reply

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