Mountain lions and wolves sometimes share the same territories, which means that these two top predators are often in competition with each other. Sometimes that competition can get violent, and one man driving through the backcountry of Vancouver Island managed to see something few humans have: a fatal fight between cougar and wolf.
“We were in such disbelief of what we were seeing,” Rod Mizak told Global News. “At the very beginning, we were unsure of what it was, but it became clear it was a cougar on the bottom, a wolf on top.”
Mizak was on a logging service road near Cowichan Lake when he heard strange noises coming from the forest. Mizak stopped and watched an all-out battle between a large mountain lion and what appeared to be a younger wolf. More often than not, fights between the two species can be one-sided. Adult mountain lions are usually larger and stronger than their canine counterparts, while a wolf pack will send even the most dominant of cougars running. Skirmishes between the two predators are usually fierce and quick but not generally not fatal—although both have been known to kill each other’s young.
This fight, however, was fairly well matched.
“The cougar was on its back. The wolf and cougar were both locked on [to each other’s] faces, and the wolf had the upper hand,” Mizak said in an interview with CTV News. “Then the wolf decided to let go and the cougar made one leap, and nailed the wolf right between these little trees.”
You can watch the aftermath below. It contains graphic imagery.
Mizak added that he still remembers the “crunch of the spine” when the cougar wrapped its jaws around the wolf’s neck. He was able to film the aftermath of the fight and uploaded it to social media, where it quickly went viral. Some who watched the video speculated that the cougar’s victim was just a large dog, but wildlife experts say it does appear to be a wolf.
“Two of the most elusive animals in our wilds in B.C. To see that or get a photo of that…is quite unreal,” said British Columbia Conservation Officer Steve Ackles. “[Mizak] should go buy a lottery ticket.”
You can watch an interview with Mizak below:
Image from Facebook