Tuesday 3 August 2021

Do mountain lions eat coyotes?

Mountain lions eat pretty much anything that is available and their prey animals range in size from mice to moose. If an animal puts itself in a vulnerable position mountain lions will try and kill it but a mountain lion hurt and incapacitated in an attack on a prey animal will die. Therefore, they will be selective. 

Mountain lion caught in camera trap by National Park Services AP
Mountain lion caught in camera trap by National Park Services AP.

And if there are good alternatives to coyotes, I would suggest that they will select those animals instead. The coyote is a resourceful animal. The point I'm getting to is that the excellent reference book that I have on the prey animals that the mountain lion eats does not specify coyotes. They do specify "other carnivores" as prey animals.

I'm going to have to stick my neck out and say that mountain lions will, on occasion, eat coyotes when the opportunity arises but they will select the easiest prey they can find as a priority which will include mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, unclassified deer, elk, livestock and so on.

There are very, very few mountain lion attacks on people in the entire history of humans' relationship with the animal and when they occur it is usually a child or a woman. A mother might be defending her cubs. They don't attack humans to eat. Americans are infinitely more likely to die of a domestic dog attack than a puma attack.

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