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Caught! Young Cougars Trapped By Coyotes

Seeking refuge

mountain lion photos, coyote photos

(Image credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS)

A standoff between two juvenile mountain lions and five coyotes was caught on camera March 28, 2013, by an employee at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyo. The mountain lions sought safety on a buck and rail fence for more than an hour while the coyotes lurked nearby. The pack chased one of the cougars (as mountain lions are also called) when it tried to escape, according to the photographer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife staffer Lori Iverson.

Up the creek

mountain lion photos, coyote photos

(Image credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS)

With a creek underneath and threatening coyotes nearby, the cats were in a precarious position.

Moving in

mountain lion photos, coyote photos

(Image credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS)

One of the coyotes has moved in closer to the cats. Note the flattened positions of the mountain lions.

Making an approach

mountain lion photos, coyote photos

(Image credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS)

Two of the five coyotes are in the background as one of the mountain lions looks anxiously behind, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife photographer.

Aggression

mountain lion photos, coyote photos

(Image credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS)

One of the mountain lions has shifted position on the fence to avoid the approaching coyotes.

The challenge

mountain lion photos, coyote photos

(Image credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS)

In this photo, three coyotes are about to make a move to challenge the young cat preparing to flee, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photographer.

An escape

mountain lion photos, coyote photos

(Image credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS)

The encounter ended with one of the mountain lions slowly making its way down the fence, occasionally dropping to the ground where it was met by lunges and yips by the coyotes, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photographer. The mountain lion responded with hisses and yowls. Eventually, it ran across the creek on the fence and took off with the five coyotes in pursuit. The second mountain lion was still hunkered down in the grass under the fence when the photographer called it a night. Both cubs were spotted alive and well late Sunday by U.S. Fish and Wildlife employees.