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Mar 30 2013

Caturday!

Uh Oh ...

Because there are no tall bookshelves in the wild

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff person happened to be in the right place this week to document a confrontation between two puma cubs and a band of five coyotes at the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming.

There are more photos. (No sad kitty trigger warning needed.)

41 comments

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  1. 1
    shouldbeworking

    PZed only let you post this because those cats were in trouble, right?
    #FtBullies

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    Treachery!

  3. 3
    Inaji

    Oh woah. For a moment, I thought PZ posted this, when I saw ‘Caturday’ in the comments section. *Phew*

    Ah, conflict. I likes the puma, I do. I also like coyotes, a lot. They get a seriously raw deal here, and one of my critters, Doll, is a Shepherd/Coyote cross. Love her pieces, I do.

  4. 4
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh, biologist fight. *hauls up keg of grog and a barrel of popcornz*
    go carnivores…

  5. 5
    Jadehawk

    such adorable widdle kittehs

  6. 6
    Charly

    I had no idea this could happen, I thought puma is forrest dwelling predator.

    We live and learn. Cute kittens, but is not posting something like this on pharingula tantamout to blasphemy?

  7. 7
    Stacy

    Aw. The pumas look so young. Hope and trust they got away safely.

  8. 8
    Jadehawk

    pretty sure mountain lions are habitat-generalists. don’t they have a habitat range that goes pretty much from Canada all the way to Argentina, covering all the ecosystems in between?

  9. 9
    yazikus

    Such beautiful lighting. @Chris: Have you seen the kids book Coyote Raid? I think it is pretty cute, but wondered if it portrayed the coyotes in a negative light… That is pretty OT. Sorry if derail.

  10. 10
    Rey Fox

    Saw this on the USFWS office’s Facebook page today when one of my friends commented on it. Lot of assholes with guns on that thread.

  11. 11
    Chris Clarke

    I stupidly called the FWS the “U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife” when I first posted this. I blame the cold medicine. I’ve fixed my boneheaded mistake.

  12. 12
    David Marjanović

    such adorable widdle kittehs

    + 1

    don’t they have a habitat range that goes pretty much from Canada all the way to Argentina, covering all the ecosystems in between?

    And was that a rhetorical question?

    I thought puma is forrest dwelling predator.

    Thinking is so 2000; nowadays the thing to do is to type “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puma” into your address bar (don’t check first if the page exists, just type it), arrive at a disambiguation page, and then

    The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the puma, mountain lion, panther, or catamount, is a large cat of the family Felidae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere.[3] An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major American habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the Western Hemisphere, after the jaguar. Solitary by nature and nocturnal,[4] the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines and is nearer genetically to the domestic cat than true lions.

    Links not restored after copying & pasting.

  13. 13
    Inaji

    Stacy:

    Aw. The pumas look so young. Hope and trust they got away safely.

    Poor, hungry coyotes never get a break. I blame Wile E.

  14. 14
    Charly

    David Marjanović

    Thinking is so 2000; nowadays the thing to do is to type “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puma”

    I know where to find relevant information when needed. I do not even need wikipedia, I could prop up a book from my library and refresh my memory.

    I was just somehow commenting on my own ignorance, typing what passed through my head when I saw that picture. I do not know why I did such silly thing.

  15. 15
    viajera

    I just saw this on Facebook, how lucky to happen across such an encounter – and to have a camera, too! My coolest wildlife encounters always seem to happen when I don’t have a camera at hand.

    Caine @13: “Poor, hungry coyotes never get a break”
    I agree coyotes need more of a break! But I’d be surprised if they were trying to catch and eat these pumas. Coyotes and pumas are competitors, and most of the encounters (including the longer description of this one on Flickr) I’ve heard of involve one species trying to drive the other off its/their territory. Of course, if they somehow managed to get hold of a puma and kill it, I’m sure they’d chow down.

  16. 16
    Rob Grigjanis

    I long thought that carnivores of different species kill each other on sight (lions-hyenas, wolves-coyotes), or run away. But sometimes they decide to take a break from the old tooth and claw routine.

  17. 17
    Trebuchet

    Puma? ‘Fraid your Southwest bias is showing, Chris. In Wyoming, where the pictures were taken, the critter is a Mountain Lion. Just as the FWS has captioned it. You might get away with calling it a “cougar”, but people will look at you funny if you call it a “puma”.

  18. 18
    anchor

    Its somewhat jarring to see a fence – that ubiquitous scourge of homo propertyorensis – being put to beneficial use by one species in this circumstance. It forces one to imagination what might have happened if it wasn’t there. *shudder*

    Cheer up, PZ – that’s kinda, sorta, an anti-caturday…

  19. 19
    anchor

    Which makes me also wonder now: which side of that fence is the National Elk Refuge on?

  20. 20
    michaeld

    I wonder if we’ll ever get a Bunday post from Chris? :P Just saying I wouldn’t be opposed.

  21. 21
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I thought puma is forrest dwelling predator.

    In the last decade, I have seen three mountain lions. One in the sagebrush hills of eastern Oregon. One in the sagebrush lava buttes near Warm Springs, Washington. And one in the grass and scattered chaparral of northern California along the Eel River.

    Never have a camera handy. Always too damn busy driving. And not driving off of cliffs. I’ll try to ignore the driving and concentrate on the wildlife.

  22. 22
    Inaji

    Michaeld:

    I wonder if we’ll ever get a Bunday post from Chris?

    Oooh, good idea!

  23. 23
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I wonder if we’ll ever get a Bunday post from Chris?

    Would that be calendarnormativeoppressor’s Bunday? Or the real Ogvorbisverse Bunday?

    (and why do I never see these gems as I peruse the thread and only pick them up when someone else quotes it?)

  24. 24
    chigau (違う)

    Ogvorbis
    Everyday is Bunday!
    I always have a (point-and-shoot) camera.
    I have a plethora of really bad wild-life photographs.
    “That brown blob in the middle is a grizzly.”
    “That white blob on the left is a wolf and those brown blobs to the right are caribou.”

  25. 25
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    Would that be calendarnormativeoppressor’s Bunday? Or the real Ogvorbisverse Bunday?

    Bunday is what you make it. In the Caineverse, Bunday is on calendarnormativeoppressor’s Monday.

  26. 26
    Stacy

    Poor, hungry coyotes never get a break.

    Not from me, not when they threaten kittehs. I will always side with the felid(s) in any dispute. Always. Because, that’s why.

  27. 27
    Inaji

    Stacy:

    Always. Because, that’s why.

    My half coyote, Doll, says to howl you she haz a sad.

  28. 28
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Which makes me also wonder now: which side of that fence is the National Elk Refuge on?

    Both. Pretty sure that’s close to a service road pretty close to downtown Jackson Hole. Used to send a lot of time in there.

  29. 29
    chigau (違う)

    Caine
    What is Doll’s other half and how did that liaison occur?
    (don’t answer if Doll is watching)

  30. 30
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Rob Grigjanis

    I long thought that carnivores of different species kill each other on sight (lions-hyenas, wolves-coyotes), or run away. But sometimes they decide to take a break from the old tooth and claw routine.

    AFAIK, lions and hyenas are actually unusual in routinely trying to kill each other. Otherwise, predators rarely share ranges, but there’s not the same sort of near-warfare; it’s more that if the wolves are eating the deer, there aren’t enough left to sustain the pumas too, and larger predators are often perfectly wiling to eat smaller ones if t hey come too close.

    On a completely unrelated note, I once saw the revers of this one with smaller critters; the grey fox pups that lived under our shed when I was a teen once cornered a grown cat against the house, while one of the adult foxes looked on. The cat was visibly aware of the adult fox, and I am inclined to suspect it would have escaped sooner and more violently if it had just been the cubs.

  31. 31
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    What is Doll’s other half and how did that liaison occur?

    She’s half white Shepherd, half coyote and I have no idea. She was a rescue, and a complete wreck* by the time we got to her. She had been in 13 different “homes” and treated wrongly and wretchedly in each one. She should have never been placed with anyone who didn’t know what the fuck they were doing in the first place, let alone thirteen different times.

    *She was scrunched up by the fence in the kennel, head down, tail pasted to her belly, almost fetal. Absolutely terrified and she had been beaten very badly.

  32. 32
    anchor

    Ah. yes of course, the fence runs alongside a service road.

    I had been through that region several times many years ago in my youth – I was trying to orient the picture to my recollection…

    Thanks Rev!

  33. 33
    chigau (違う)

    Caine
    Give Doll a hug from me.

  34. 34
    Inaji

    Give Doll a hug from me.

    I will, Chigau. Doll’s been with us 7.5 years now (she’s 10!) and she’s a very happy Coyote.

  35. 35
    Stacy

    @Caine,

    Tell Doll I like do like coyotes very much too.* And I’m very glad she was lucky enough to find a forever home with you.

    * Saw one in the not-so-wilds of Topanga Canyon last August when a friend and I were out watching for Perseids.

  36. 36
    Inaji

    Stacy:

    Tell Doll I like do like coyotes very much too.* And I’m very glad she was lucky enough to find a forever home with you.

    I shall do so. She’s howling at the attention.

    * Saw one in the not-so-wilds of Topanga Canyon last August when a friend and I were out watching for Perseids.

    Nice. When the local pack around here is out and about, we go sit outside so Doll can howl back and forth with them.

  37. 37
    Stacy

    I’ve rarely heard them here in Southern California. But I’ll never forget, many years ago, wandering my uncle’s cattle ranch in Nebraska at sunset, and hearing that iconic yip yip howwl. Enchanting.

  38. 38
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    chigau:

    I always have a (point-and-shoot) camera.
    I have a plethora of really bad wild-life photographs.
    “That brown blob in the middle is a grizzly.”
    “That white blob on the left is a wolf and those brown blobs to the right are caribou.”

    I have a pretty good camera. The one I had with me on these three occasions had a 15x optical zoom. My current one has a 30x optical zoom at 14Mp. Having it out and ready, though, is the tough part.

    Bunday is what you make it. In the Caineverse, Bunday is on calendarnormativeoppressor’s Monday.

    Caine, can I have a croissant day, instead?

    =========

    Wife pointed out, last night, that we have been there. The only wildlife we say, though, were ubiquitous Uintah Ground Squirrels.

  39. 39
    Pyra

    Nice photo. Thanks for bringing attention to it.

  40. 40
    Crissa

    The largest (and only wild) bobcat I saw was stalking a coyote. o-o Those guys in the picture were much bigger. And working together.

  41. 41
    quanticsakura

    I may sound a bit spammy (I promise it’s worth it), but if you want to post about cats, I suggest one of the rarest on Earth – the Iberic Lynx. It’s birthing season and Projects Lynx has live cameras on, with some luck you can watch the actual birth – and you have cute baby cat killers (aren’t them all?) on 24/7.
    Awareness about this rare and special animal which is severely endangered is fundamental!
    The project facebook (sorry, it’s in portuguese): https://www.facebook.com/projectolynx
    The live camera: http://www.projectolynx.com/lynxes-live-camera/

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