Well, this is odd.
Usually with these videos, it ends with the mountain lion tearing apart the elk and making it a meal, but this is a nice change of pace.
Two animals that should not be friends happen to be incredibly friendly with one another in this video. The whole encounter reminds me of the 2006 animated film Open Season in which a bear and a deer befriend one another. This elk and mountain lion are coexisting without any tension whatsoever.
The elk seems to be chowing down on some grass, and the mountain lion is looking over at the large antlered animal without a care in the world. The big cat must’ve just woken up from a nap.
I’ve had the same look before on Thanksgiving when I take a post-turkey nap and wake up to see the pecan and pumpkin pies have been pulled out. Just like the mountain lion, I’m intrigued by the sight, but decide that I’m too lazy and it’s best not to make any sudden movements.
The Instagram video is a really cool watch, and it was all captured by a Yellowstone tour guide who had this to say about the video:
“Wow, what a day! I am still speechless. I heard about a mountain lion on a bighorn sheep kill yesterday and was certain that by the time I would arrive today it would be too late. I was obviously very wrong.
The mountain lion had a full belly and was napping as this bull elk approached. Both were aware of each other. The cat never showed any interest.”
Ha! I was right about the mountain lion just waking up from a nap.
Take a look at the crazy scene below:
It is common for mountain lions to prey on elk and deer, but apparently not on a full stomach. Like the caption said, the mountain lion had been eating on a bighorn sheep that it had killed, so it was the elk’s lucky day and it got a free pass.
This might be my new favorite type of animal encounter video: when animals are too lazy to get up from a nap to LITERALLY survive. I’m sure the mountain lion was just letting its food digest, but as for the elk, it better wise up. It won’t last very long if it just keeps casually wondering up to one of its main threats in life.
The video ends with a caption saying “the encounter ended peacefully,” but I think the mountain lion was “playing chess” while the elk was “playing checkers.”
Now the elk will feel comfortable going up to that spot, and the lazy mountain lion won’t have to travel as far to kill it.
The mountain lion is playing the long game… respect.