It's not uncommon to see wildlife locked in battle, but what this man saw was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Rod Mizak of Lake Cowichan, B.C., was used to seeing wild animals on the logging roads in the backcountry near Cowichan Lake, but he never thought he'd see this. As he and a friend approached a confusing scene, it quickly became apparent that he was looking at a deadly brawl between a cougar and a wolf, both fully grown, and dangerous, animals.
Meznak quickly grabbed a flashlight and his phone to capture the unique scene.
As the cougar was on its back, it first appeared that the wolf had the upper hand. That is, until it made a deadly mistake. As the two animals' jaws were locked around each other, the wolf let go, and in a split second, the cougar had it by the throat.
What's so unique about two animals fighting in the wild? Mizak notes that not only is it incredibly rare to see two predatory animals fighting each other, it's rare to see either animal in the wild at all. They are both incredibly wary and elusive creatures, but they seem to have forgotten that instinct in the heat of battle.
Neither the wolf nor the cougar seemed to notice Mizak and the car, despite the fact that they were only a few feet away. Mizak noted that he was close enough to touch the wolf's leg at one point, and he had the flashlight pointed directly at them. Port Alberni reporter Steve Ackles pointed out the scarcity of such an event.
But to attack an animal that can actually fight back, that is another predator, is pretty rare.
Exactly what these two predators were fighting over is anyone's guess. Whether it was territory, food or some other basic instinct, it looks like the cougar will live to fight another day.