GIANT DISCLAIMER: DON’T WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW OR READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T LIKE WATCHING REALLY HARROWING LIFE OR DEATH NATURE VIDEOS, DEER GETTING KILLED BY COUGARS, OR CUSSING, OR THINKING ABOUT HARROWING LIFE OR DEATH SCENARIOS, THE POSSIBILITY OF GETTING KILLED BY A COUGAR, OR CUSSING. THANK YOU! THE BIG SOMETHING

Anyone who lives in the Pikes Peak region and spends any time hiking, biking or running in the backcountry has certainly thought about the very, VERY remote possibility of being attacked by a mountain lion/cougar/puma. Please keep in mind that, as this website points out:

* In California, from 1986 through 1998, exactly two people died from mountain lion attacks, whereas in one year alone, over 4,000 people died in traffic accidents, including 800 pedestrians. This means that your car or someone else’s car is 2,000 times more likely to kill you than is a mountain lion. (A Detailed Calculation gives the ratio as between 1,150 and 4,300.)

* Over 300 people have been killed by domestic dogs in the U.S. between 1979 and the late 1990s. This means that your family dog or your neighbor’s dog is ten times more likely to kill you than is a mountain lion and hundreds of time more likely than is a coyote.

That said, dying in the jaws of a mountain lion does hold a slightly more terrifying grip on the imagination (and neck) than the jaws of life or the jaws of Snoopy, which is to say fear is often more powerful than facts! (BTW, if you want to indulge your horror fantasies, here’s a page that lists cougar deaths in Colorado through 2001 and here’s a description of a more recent attack in Boulder).

And sometimes there are very good reasons to be afraid, such as this moment in August 2008 captured on video by local hiker Jen Kulier, who wrote to us to describe how she and her friends captured this video in the Crags on the backside of Pikes Peak:

Some friends (Mark Lee, Keith Emmons, Jackson Solway) and I were getting an early start to summit Pikes Peak from the Crags last August. We were driving up the road to the trailhead at about 6 am. I was riding shotgun and holding a video camera, because we planned to film some of our hike. Just before we got to the Mennonite Camp, a deer walked into the road and stopped, so I started filming the deer. At the same time the camera started filming, the mountain lion jumped out from the trees on the side of the road and attacked the deer.

See for yourself (“YouTube here we come!” Indeed!):

(Thanks to Joey Ernst for the tip and to you, as always, for your great comments and feedback! thebigsomething@krcc.org)

 

13 Responses to Amazing Video: Cougar Kills Deer in Crags

  1. Matt H says:

    Compairing Car crash deaths and Mountain lion deaths is an innacurate way to quantify danger. There’s a lot more idiots driving cars than their are Mountain Lions. Mountain Lions live in the mountauns. Idiots in cars live everywhere. of course the numbers will be different. Both are equally deadly dangerous in their own environment.

  2. Joel says:

    Would love to see a version of this w/o the audio (or music instead of inane chatter)

  3. Jones says:

    Awesome vid!
    Idiot filmers though.

  4. Aaron Retka says:

    Coooooooool. Nature red in tooth and claw!

  5. Matt H says:

    Another quick note, Bears are hungy for a snack before winter beddy bye time. Too the female that “Just wants to go hiking” Don’t smell like candy or fruit. Bears, Cougars and what all else; they smell you first, then see you in their territory. The end.

  6. Don Goede says:

    man, that’s crazy real. our cats keep disappearing in manitou.

  7. Brian Tryon says:

    Rare sight, I agree with a previous post. Edit out the commentary.

  8. Tim says:

    Definitely would be better without the chatter, though you can certainly tell the difference between the female and male P.O.V..

  9. mlee says:

    As one of the people in the car, I’ll definitely cop to the dialogue being inane. It’s funny what people will say when confronted with an intense and totally unexpected situation like this. What worried me about this encounter is that there were several groups of people camped in tents right off the road within a couple hundred yards of here.

  10. Tom Taylor says:

    A one in a million chance to have the opportunity to see this event and all I could think of was that I wished it had attacked the nincompoops in the car narrating. What a bunch of dullards.

  11. Jeremy Van Hoy says:

    cute little kittie!

  12. Brian Tryon says:

    The reality of nature. I camp up there occasionally. That is not what I am totally concerned about while up there. I am more concerned about the humans who visit and camp.

  13. Frank Gearhart says:

    I go to the Crags frequently. I agree with Brian – humans are more of a concern for me than animals. I used to live in an area where black bears routinely visited, and I never had any problems with them. We went our way, they went theirs. I’ve had a bear visit my campsite once – never knew it was there until I saw the paw prints on my kayak.

    Getting the opportunity to witness something like this is rare and wonderful, even if it is raw.

    As for mountain lions, if you’ve ever hiked in the mountains (or maybe even walked on a popular trail), you’ve probably been seen by a mountain lion. The article’s statement “And sometimes there are very good reasons to be afraid….” isn’t borne out by the statistics in the previous paragraphs.

News

September 23, 2014 | NPR · Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were just starting to see economic progress after years of conflict. The blow of Ebola, says the World Bank, could be “catastrophic.”
 

Benjamin B. Morris for NPR
September 23, 2014 | NPR · Justin McCowan wanted to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s because it’s more common in people like him who have Down syndrome. He died in his sleep last week at age 40.
 

AP
September 23, 2014 | KWMU · As the availability of mental health services has declined, many police departments have trained Crisis Intervention Teams to respond to people with mental illness.
 

Arts & Life

National Gallery of Art
September 23, 2014 | NPR · Cassatt gave the three well-loved, wooden boxes of pastels to a friend’s 10-year-old granddaughter, who later recalled: “I wasted lots of them on playing and swapping them with my friends.”
 

September 23, 2014 | NPR · Robert Peace, a 30-year-old African-American, was a Yale University graduate and an almost straight-A student in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He also dealt marijuana.
 

September 22, 2014 | NPR · In his episodic memoir, Will Boast meets the siblings he never knew while navigating family deaths and secrets. Critic Ellah Allfrey finds Epilogue conceptually ambitious, but lacking in execution.
 

Music

Mountain Stage
September 22, 2014 | NPR · The influential songwriter and outlaw-country innovator performs new songs and old favorites.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 22, 2014 | WXPN · The folk-pop singer-songwriter’s open, breezy arrangements speak fluent Californian. Hear two songs.
 

NPR
September 22, 2014 | NPR · With his drummer son Spencer, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy performs three songs from their new album, Sukierae — plus a cover of “You Are Not Alone,” which the elder Tweedy wrote for Mavis Staples.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab