coyotes tame lions on refuge

By Jim Stanford on March 31, 2013

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The juvenile lions take refuge on a fence. Click to enlarge.

A week after a family of mountain lions devoured an unfortunately named black Lab, canines have struck back.

A pack of five coyotes chased a pair of mountain lion kittens onto a buck-and-rail fence Thursday evening on the National Elk Refuge. Staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photographed the standoff, which lasted more than an hour. One cat ran away with the coyotes in pursuit, while the other hid in the grass as darkness fell.

The photos, posted in an online gallery and widely shared, had been viewed nearly two million times as of this afternoon.

The kittens appeared to have survived the encounter, as refuge staff spotted both Saturday. The whereabouts of the mother reportedly were unknown.

(Photo by Lori Iverson/USFWS)

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Posted under Environment

3 Comments so far

  1. Morgan Nields April 12, 2013 11:36 pm

    Steve Kallin, and any other Elk Refuge studies, are moronic to believe cyclists in April, or any other month, affect the migration patterns of elk any more than the 2 ton bullets driving directly behind them. The JHMR just shut down for the enormous highway of migration (that begins in April), so what are they worried about next to the refuge anyway. The mountain Lions had also better watch their ass, because 165 lbs. of spandex will certainly one day cross it’s path at a possible 20 MPH.

  2. dave April 13, 2013 10:04 am

    the refuge granted an easement for the path, the county accepted the conditions of the easement and the pathway seasonal closure. the refuge offered to study the closure for possibly changing it in the future. what is so hard to understand and accept about that? why can’t spandex accept that, they like to ride the pavement anyway.

  3. cv April 14, 2013 7:23 pm

    I find it hard to accept when I see cyclists forced on to a busy 89. Its not a matter of if, but when,until someone gets killed on the road. Im sure that will change things, but need it come to that? Im not even a path user, just a 89 driver 5 days a week.

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