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|Cougars v Canids|
|Tweet Topic Started: Dec 4 2015, 02:56 AM (671 Views)|
|BigOscar||Dec 4 2015, 02:56 AM Post #1|
chasing the gray fox
|Taipan||Jan 22 2017, 10:51 PM Post #2|
Mother cougar killed; big wolf pack blamed
Apr 8, 2003
LIVINGSTON (AP) — A wolf pack killed a female cougar in Yellowstone National Park last week, and her cubs probably will starve, a scientist said Tuesday.
The number of wounds on the carcass indicates that many wolves attacked the cougar, said Toni Ruth, a Wildlife Conservation Society scientist with the Yellowstone Cougar Project.
"If it had been just one or two wolves, maybe she could have held her own," Ruth said. "The pack we suspect did the killing has seven to 11 members.
Either the Leopold pack or the Swan Lake pack are likely the culprits, she said.
The dead cat was found in the Mount Everts area, east of Mammoth Hot Springs, about one day after she was killed. Her radio collar sent a mortality signal after she had not moved in at least six hours.
The cougar's two 4-month-old male kittens are almost certainly doomed by the loss of their mother, Ruth said.
"For the first year, kittens are completely reliant on their mother to feed them. She stashes them someplace safe, goes out to hunt, then comes and gets the kittens and takes them to the kill site," Ruth said.
"We're monitoring the kittens' collars every day, and they haven't left where their mom got killed. They're probably just waiting for her to come back. That's what they do — sit and wait.
"I hope wolves or coyotes get them instead of them having to starve to death."
Ruth said the Yellowstone Cougar Project is not allowed to interfere with the natural life cycles of the animals.
Yellowstone's cougar population is estimated at 15 to 17 adults.
Ruth said the wolves probably attacked the female cougar because they wanted to take something she had killed, although no kill was found near the body.
Cougars and wolves both prey on elk and deer, and it is not uncommon for wolves to chase cougars off a kill.
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