The Mississippi is the second longest river in North America, running from Minnesota to Louisiana, and while it may be best known for southern deltas, the areas surrounding the northern parts are a very different ecosystem.
Harsh winters bring ice, snow, and sub-zero temperatures, forcing the diverse wildlife that relies on it to alter their lives quite substantially, a great example of which we see in this clip from National Geographic’s Wild Mississippi series.
The first episode focuses on a frozen landscape near the river’s source, where close to a foot of snow has fallen. Rabbits are one of the most plentiful small game animals in the area and carve out dens under the snow for warmth and safety from predators.
But they can’t live down there forever and at times have to come up for air and to find food, which is when their enemies, like the bobcat, strike.
The video begins with a bobcat prowling through the landscape and noticing a tiny patch of brown peaking through the pure white snow. It then slowly creeps towards the rabbit, waiting for just the right moment to pounce. The rabbit senses danger and after holding still for a time, decides to try and make a run back to its den.
It leads the bobcat on a nerve-wracking chase around trees, under branches, and through the soft powder, at times looking like it may have the leg up on the bobcat, but ending just how you’d expect.
The size and strength of the feline allow it to power through the snow just a bit better than the rabbit and after a few moments, is able to grab the bunny with its fangs and turn out the lights.
A display of nature in its truest, most raw and violent form; survival of the fittest through and through.