Mountain Lion
YouTube: Nicholas Melville

Mountain Lion Kills Mule Deer Next to Hiking Trail as Bystanders Watch

Footage is a grim reminder of a mountain lion's killing capabilities.

For humans it is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security with modern life. We live relatively safe, quiet lives thanks to society and technology. However, for animals, every single day is a life-or-death struggle and there is just no telling when you may end up on the dinner table for another hungry critter.

That is what happens with this video. This young mule deer buck has met with a natural enemy, a hungry mountain lion. The lion has already latched onto the buck's face in an attack that happened right next to a hiking trail.

This grim footage shows the last few moments of the deer's life as the mountain lion finishes the deer off with one final bite to the jugular.

According to the video's description, this footage was shot down a trail at Ranch San Antonio Open Space Preserve in California. The description also states the struggle with the deer and the lion went on for nearly 10 minutes before the deer became exhausted and could fight no longer. Considering the amazing will to live that most deer have, this is a testament to this lion's incredible strength. There is a second video that shows the lead-up to this one that more fully shows the struggle. Most deer are likely much stronger than a human, so this is also a good reminder to use caution whenever hiking where lions are present.

As you can see, it was simply a matter of who had the better stamina to walk away from this encounter. While the video may be hard to watch, it is important to remember that this is what happens in nature. It is not pretty, and it is rarely fair. It is survival of the fittest at its most raw. After all, the cat must eat something.

This is also how nature naturally keeps the number of animals like deer intact. Kudos to these hikers for not interfering in the scene and allowing nature to take its course. They were able to witness an incredibly rare sight and we are thankful they were able to share it with the world.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels