They’re the type of cats that will stay back from a distance, stalk their prey down, and then attack out of nowhere once the time is right, before anyone even realizes they’re there.
Needless to say, this is something you should always be cautious of whenever you find yourself out in the woods hunting or hiking trails. And if you live in mountain lion country (or hell, even San Francisco these days), you have to keep an eye on your livestock and your pets… they could be lion food in a hurry.
Here is a primary example of the mountain lion’s stealth.
You can see a very young coyote pup sitting in the middle of a field.
Now usually, coyotes are pesky creatures that the average hunter or famer won’t hesitate to shoot. Since there are so many, most states allow you to hunt coyotes year around with no bag limit.
But looking at this cute pup, you can’t help but feel bad for the little guy.
Once it realizes a mountain lion is charging straight for it, it tries to take off and outrun the much larger predator. The mountain lion ultimately catches hold of the pup, and carries it by its neck.
The caption explains:
“Coyote pup falls to a stronger opponent.
Where their habitats overlap, mountain lions and coyotes can be found to be in direct competition with each other. Coyotes and cougars have similar diets and are vying for much of the same prey items.
If this were an adult coyote, outrunning the mountain lion would have been a cinch. Coyotes are able to move faster than their lanky feline competition by a good margin.
Since this is a young and less experienced coyote, the advantage tilts towards the lion and the outcome is quite predictable.”
The coyote might’ve had a chance to get away from the mountain lion, had it been a bit more mature as coyotes generally can escape a mountain lion if they can see the attack coming. While also extremely fast, mountain lions rely on the element of surprise to capture mature coyotes.