Wolves are coursing, social predators that operate in packs to select disadvantaged prey in open areas where they can test their prey’s condition. Look carefully for the mountain lion in the background, pushed off its kill by a large wolf caught on remote camera. Liz Bradley, a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf biologist, reports that she has discovered five wolves killed by mountain lions in three years—all bearing the characteristic canine punctures in their skulls betraying the identity of the perpetrator. The Teton Cougar Project operates in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, and is one of very few long-term studies of mountain lions. She’s a particularly feral mountain lion, F109, an adult female with three three-month-old kittens.
We can’t tell you exactly what happened, but we can describe what we deciphered from the clues left behind in the snow. Perhaps the wolves had challenged F109, or perhaps just one of them wandered too close to her kittens, or perhaps a pup felt like exploring on its own—trying to decipher the absolute pandemonium of tracks was beyond us.
Thus far, our research has supported exactly what everyone  expected: Wolves dominate mountain lions in most encounters. There is utube footage of cougars killing wolves, even when the wolf is bigger the cougar doesn’t have much trouble killing the wolf, its not fun to watch. There is now utube footage of Cougars killing full grown adult wolves, its not even a close fight…the cougar destroyed the wolf even when the wolf was bigger. I have raised wolves for 46 years, and have witnessed an adult wolf killing a adult cougar in a one on one fight.So, Yes a wolf can run down and will kill an adult cougar. Although both wolves and cougars are quite successful land predators, if you match up a pack of wolves with A mountain lion, well, the cougar doesn’t have a chance. Packs of wolves have been known to kill young cougars and will do so to eliminate future rivalry. Greater Yellowstone wolves are quite heavy–averaging about 110 lbs, which is heavier than a typical female cougar (90-100 lbs) and much lighter than a typical male (150-160 lbs). While my personal knowledge of both wolves and mountain lions is admittedly from books and documentaries on the subjects, I’d like to point up a smaller, micro-environment I have observed. Anyone who has had occasion to handle a domestic cat on the scrap knows precisely the strength and agility contained in an eight to fifteen pound body. I have had domestic cats as companions all my life, and can attest to their remarkable capabilities.
You know that “Animal Face-Off” Animal Planet show where scientists, engineers and animal experts use sophisticated forensic science to determine the winner of epic but purely hypothetical battles between various large and toothsome megafauna? A state wolf specialist in Montana says mountain lions have killed two radio-collared wolves in the Bitterroot Valley since January.


We'll look for answers and post them here, along with regular updates about the science and conservation status of felids. National Geographic supports scientific research of lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and other big cats with a view to finding viable ways to protect them in their natural habitat. Death is always near, and teamwork is essential on the Serengeti—even for a magnificent, dark-maned male known as C-Boy. Go behind the scenes of recent National Geographic coverage of some of the world's top predators.
National Geographic cameras capture unseen aspects of magnificent Yellowstone -- America's oldest national park and among the most visited, though only 10 percent of its massive acreage is known and traveled. They’re not as great as the pyramid of Egypt but, nevertheless, these rare gems are worth your time and MONEY! She wears a Vectronics satellite collar which allows researchers to follow her movements in near real time and study the secret lives of mountain lions. Some dispute her claims and point out that wolves fight each other too, especially adjacent packs, and that they also attack the head; skeptics believe a canine puncture in a wolf skull could be made by another wolf just as easily as a mountain lion. Since the start of the project, wolves have trickled into the area, established territories and reproduced. Whatever the circumstances, F109 captured and killed a pup born this year just above the chaos of wolf activity. That’s why almost only wolf packs and pairs can get to them because a healthy cougar could generally make it up a tree long before it could be caught if it felt threatened. Liz Bradley of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said she found a dead wolf last week with skull puncture wounds that are a trademark of a mountain lion. In rugged, rocky terrain or where there are sufficient trees, adult cougars can well defend themselves or retreat to safety. There are 38 species of felids, ranging from the seven-pound tabby in your lap to 500-pound Siberian tigers—with cheetahs, leopards, ocelots, and other striped and spotted cats in between. We'll also share National Geographic articles, videos, and behind-the-scenes features and keep you up to date on our Big Cats Initiative work to help big cats hang on in the wild.
Bloggers and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. Combining the resources of National Geographic and the Cincinnati Zoo, and drawing on the skills of an incredible crew, we documented these amazing cats in a way that’s never been done before. Viewers journey through the ecosystem's untamed beauty to sites tourists never see, including a 20-mile-long canyon and newly discovered waterfalls. Thus, wolves and cougars inhabit and utilize different ecological niches, allowing them to spatially and temporally coexist; nevertheless, in the absence of wolves, cougars utilize areas traditionally assumed to be the sole dominion of coursing wolves.


Nevertheless, her location data indicated that she’d stopped and we suspected she’d made a kill.
It would have to be a much larger wolf on open terrain with nothing to climb or leap over so that the wolf could run it down and hope it doesn’t get the crap slapped out of it. And yes, a growing mountain of evidence now exists that suggests cougars are selecting prey rather than just hunting whatever they come across. Take for instance, the Hornocker Institute study of mountain lions in Northern Yellowstone led by Dr. Fish and Wildlife Service surveys estimated that there were about 10 wolves in our study area, and that number steadily increased to as high as 91 in 2010. We slogged up the mountain to investigate, the ground bare of snow adjacent the road, but as deep as our thigh in the high bowl where she lingered.
We discovered the signs of struggle, the telltale blood in the snow, and the pup’s remains beneath a lonely subalpine fir: a pile of coal black fur, bone shards from the legs, and the skull, skinned but completely intact. Against an entire pack however, the combined force of the pack would overpower the mountain lion.
Toni Ruth, in which researchers discovered the remains of three mountain lions killed by wolves. To date, we’ve documented five lions killed by wolves, all kittens, and all less than six months old while they were still relatively slow to climb and less than fully coordinated. Perhaps F109’s predecessors served as naive intermediaries relearning to coexist with a dominant competitor, a species absent since 1926, when the last wolf was killed in Yellowstone National Park. A wolf pack made up of adults, subadults and pups had criss-crossed the area, leaving barely a patch of snow without their sign.
Perhaps F109 is evidence that lions learn quickly and adapt, and that mountain lions will successfully coexist with wolves in the Yellowstone Ecosystem for generations to come. If 2 250 pound Tibetan mastiffs use to kill a tiger, of course a wolf of the same size as a cougar with more jaw power can kill it. Of course large wolves can kill scrawny starving 60lb cougars but no way can they go toe to toe with the larger ones.
Without hesitation, she barreled into the fray, a tiny tornado of teeth and claws, and while she killed none of the dogs, she left each of them bloodied, deeply scarred and better educated. I’m glad tehre are cougars around though to keep the wolves in check who in-turn keep the ungulates on the move.



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