In this guide, we’ll answer the question:
“What eats mountain lions?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what animals eat mountain lions in the wild and then get a detailed list of mountain lion predators.
Mountain lions are large cat of the subfamily Felinae in the suborder Feliformia. A mountain lion goes by many names, including puma, cougar, catamount, panther, and painter.
Mountain lions are the most widespread of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. They are native to the Americas and their range spans from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes in South America.
The average lifespan of a mountain lion is 8 to 13 years.
What Eats Mountain Lions?
Animals that eat mountain lions include grizzly bears, wolves, other mountain lions, and humans. While the mountain lion is a very large cat and doesn’t have many natural predators, it is not always the top apex predator in its habitat.
Mountain Lion Predators
According to a research article on PeerJ, when the hunting grounds of mountain lions overlap with a grizzly bear, the mountain lion (or puma) often loses in a fight.
The article goes on to say, “Subordinate pumas change their habitat use, suffer displacement at food sources, likely experience increased energetic demands from harassment, exhibit increased starvation, and are sometimes directly killed in competitive interactions with dominant competitors.”
Grizzly bears are also scavengers that eats mountain lions that have been killed by other animals.
Wolves are also top mountain lion predators. A pack of wolves can easily take down and kill a mountain lion it comes across in nature. However, what happens more often in the wild is the wolves attack mountain lion cubs for an easy meal.
In an article published by Capital Press about a research study at Oregon State University, the associate professor overseeing the project said: “The biggest impact of wolves on cougars might be an increase in cougar kitten mortality. A wolf pack could drive off a mother cougar or force her up a tree while it kills and eats the young or a sub-adult that doesn’t know enough to climb out of harm’s way.”
Other Mountain Lions
Although mountain lions are not cannibals, these animals will kill each other when territorial separations are not maintained.
Mountain lions are very specialized top predators that do not exist in high concentrations in the same habitat except for a female with its young cubs. This solitary lifestyle allows each adult mountain lion to have enough resources to survive.
Humans are the largest threat to mountain lions. In an article published on the Humane Society blog, it states: “Over the last three decades, 80,000 mountain lions have been killed for trophies, most of them from the western and midwestern United States.”
In rare instances, humans will eat the meat of a mountain lion; however, this is not a widespread practice that has been documented in any specific culture.
What Do Mountain Lions Eat?
Mountain lions are also predators that must prey on other animals to survive.
You can visit our other guide on what do mountain lions eat to find out more about what these mammals feed on for nutrition.
Animals That Eat Moutain Lions Summary
You now know what eats mountain lions in the wild and which species are the top mountain lion predators.
As you discovered in this guide, there are about 4 animals that eat mountain lions in nature when a good opportunity presents itself.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.