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Of coyotes and cougars: What the human saw on a SoCal hiking trail

Screenshot via YouTube

In the comments of an OC Register story on Monday about how mountain lions are like sharks, why you shouldn't pretend you're a turkey, and what do in case of a cat encounter (do: paint eyes on the back of your hats and make loud noises, don't: turn your back and run) a reader posted a link to a remarkable video uploaded Sunday by YouTube user Robert Meyer.

Even with the apparent increase in -- and sometimes disasterous results of -- person/puma run-ins, Meyer's footage stands in delicious contrast to the by-and-large infrequency of humans seeing mountain lions. The video appears to document a coyote, possibly in distress, barking with purpose as the largest of the small cats saunters into frame on a hiking trail. 

Writes Meyer, "At 7 a.m. on July 15, 2012, this coyote was recorded driving off a mountain lion in Orange County, California. This video was taken on the Serrano Road trail of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park just south of the Dreaded Hill Road trail."

When it comes to aliases, mountain lions are the sharp-toothed Fletch of the animal kingdom. Should you encounter one, here are a few acceptable options for name calling:

VIDEO: This is the true story... of two animal strangers... living in the wilderness... who had their lives taped... to find out what happens... when mountain lions stop being polite (could you get the phone?)... and start getting real... The Natural World.