Sunday, April 24, 2011

wow: amazing video of mt. lion & sheep & deer: what does lion target?


Mt. lion is RIGHT by the sheep which stare at it and trot out of the way, but the lion seems more interested in the deer and trots after it, passing the sheep by.

Sebastian Kennerkenecht, blogger who posted this YouTube vid on his blog interprets this as an example of prey selection, posits this mt. lion's mom did NOT eat & feed her kittens sheep (therefore they are not "food") but DID eat and feed her kittens deer.

Kinda cool!

Thanks, Sebastian, and like him, was a little unnerved re: videographer Glenn Street's comment re: maybe he should have shot the lion, but I am nevertheless grateful for this video. Very nice work and an exciting opportunity to see a mountain lion hunting in the bright daylight!



  1. Found myself holding my breath - even though I'd read your comments first. I think there are more possible explanations than the offered interpretation for the lions choice (though that one seems the best for any of us who want to protect the lion by arguing that he'll never go for the sheep once properly imprinted...) We did studies on little Falcons (Falco tinnunculus) in Germany - they did tend to be imprinted by their first positive hunting experience (not quite the same as 'what mom used to serve for dinner')

  2. @MB: I totally agree. I think that we VERY SELDOM know what is going on in the brains of wildlife. I read the description first and then saw the video and it wasn't what I expected (re: clear cut preferring deer to sheep) -- could be that the sheep saw the lion and did NOT run. Who knows? But it's all interesting to think about and I appreciate your point about the falcon study.

    The amount that we DON'T know is staggering. =)

  3. Thanks for the mention in your post BB. Margarethe, I agree that lions most definitely go for sheep as well. In fact that is the domestic animal preyed upon most by pumas. It would be interesting to find out causes or at least conditions that may lead to livestock predation.


Cool people write inside rectangles....