Do mountain lions eat wolves?

Wolf and tree tattoo
Wolf and tree tattoo. Sorry it is a bit off topic but it caught my eye.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Do mountain lions eat wolves? Mountain lions a.k.a. pumas do not eat wolves because wolves live in packs and are too dangerous for a puma to attack. Studies strongly indicate that wolves trump the mountain lion when it comes to the list of predators living in the same place.

This is confirmed by the ultimate reference book to every cat species worldwide1 which makes no reference to mountain lions preying upon wolves.

This does not mean the mountain lion cannot attack very large prey. It can. It’s just that the wolf in a pack is too dangerous. Wolf packs can be as large as 15 animals but more typically is made up of around six. The mountain lion will attack a coyote and eat it. I’m told that the mountain lion will attack and eat a maned wolf but this is not a wolf but is in the genus “golden dog”.

The maned wolf is found in South America, mainly in Brazil but also Paraguay, northern Argentina, Bolivia east and north of the Andes and as far south as Peru. The mountain lion is present in large areas of South America and could meet the maned wolf.

Across North America dear make up 60 to 80% of the mountain lion’s diet with a mean weight of prey being 39 to 48 kg. Mountain lions will kill almost any animal that puts himself in a vulnerable position and here lies the problem with wolves. They are rarely in a vulnerable position.

You will probably encounter on the Internet stories of mountain lions successfully attacking wolves but there are probably rare and they will relate to a lone wolf I suspect. Lone wolves are typically older females driven from a pack. Or they might be a young adult in search of new territory. Very few wolves remain alone but if the wolf is alone it is liable to be stronger and more dangerous and therefore probably to be avoided by a mountain lion.

1. Wild Cats of the World.




Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo