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Hikers freeze as cougar prepares to pounce – but they are not the prey, TX video shows

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A group of hikers recently shared a walking trail with a mountain lion at Big Bend National Park, Texas, and the big cat was on the hunt.

Known for being “reclusive and secretive”, it’s rare to see a cougar in its habitat, let alone see the predator doing what it does best.

Hikers don’t see the prey, but the mountain lion appears to be concentrating on something as it emerges from the dry brush and onto the trail, video shared on YouTube.

The lion moves low and slow, its gaze fixed on the woods beside the path. If he is even slightly interested in hikers, he does not show it.

“I’m not taking my eyes off this guy,” said the voice behind the camera. “He wants nothing to do with us.”

After stalking long enough, the cougar lines up, coils up like a muscular spring, and launches into the thicket, disappearing from the camera’s field of view. A creature is screaming somewhere in the trees.

A separate group of hikers saw the second half of the encounter, capturing the moment the lion pounced on its prey, video shows.

Watch from 3:57-4:24 to see the fight between the lion and its prey – most likely a deer – taking place just a few feet from the trail.

Experts don’t know how many cougars live in Texas, but sightings are rare, McClatchy News reported. Most reports focus on the Trans-Pecos region, which encompasses Big Bend.

“Wild West Texas is known for its wide open spaces and sparse human populations, so it’s possible there are more mountain lions here than in other parts of the state,” said Rachael Connally, a biologist from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, to McClatchy “Because mountain lions maintain large home ranges, some cats may roam freely across the Texas-Mexico border frequently.”

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