‘Straight out of National Geographic’

Linda Spangler-Schrag (62) had a moment “straight out of National Geographic” when she captured a mountain lion on camera as it fended off three coyotes for a kill near Estes Park, Colorado.

In the battle of mountain lion vs. coyotes, who do you think “won”?

Spangler-Schrag, in an interview with the Coloradoan, says she was out to take photos of birds returning to the Rocky Mountain National Park area for spring when she ended up witnessing the scene of a lifetime.

She had pulled over after spotting some magpies picking at a dead elk, Spangler-Schrag told the Coloradoan. That’s when she realized that this was something more. There were several mammals interested in the meal as well—three coyotes, and a mountain lion.

Image by Linda Spangler-Schrag

The mountain lion had the upper hand, but the coyotes wanted in. The coyotes feigned attacks, and eventually got to eat some of the elk as well.

Spangler-Schrag said she watched the scene for about 10 minutes before calling her brother and a photographer friend to join her. By then, she said other people had pulled over to watch, too.

mountain lion vs. coyotes
Image by Linda Spangler-Schrag

She told the Coloradoan: “Twenty-six years of living here, I think, manifested into this gift, the highlight of my career.”

Her photos provide a rare glimpse into a private moment; a moment two powerful species had to compete for the same resources.

Spangler-Schrag also captured a video of the showdown, which she posted on her public Facebook page.

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