In the animal world, the predator-prey relationship is usually clearly defined.
So North Vancouver’s Norman Lee was surprised this week when he saw it turned topsy-turvy in his own back yard, in an wildlife encounter partially captured on camera.
Lee was cleaning his barbecue behind his Lynn Valley home, which backs onto a stretch of green belt, when it happened.
“I saw what looked like a dog come flying across the green belt and this little orange thing go chasing after it, so the first thing that goes into my mind is that it’s a cougar chasing a dog,” he said.
“Then they stop, just at the back and I go, ‘No, that’s not a cougar. That’s definitely not a dog.'”
What Lee actually saw was a coyote being pursued by a neighbour’s orange tabby cat.
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“They were basically staring each other down,” he said.
“Definitely the cat was the aggressor here, as he chased the coyote around.”
What ensued was a tense standoff, with the coyote cut off from a retreat into the brush and the cat giving it the “evil eye,” Lee explained.
“I was totally shocked. It was to a point where it was comical. You could clearly see the collar on the cat, like, it’s a house cat,” he said.
“The first thing that comes to mind is Wile E. Coyote from the Road Runner having another bad day.”
Lee grabbed his camera and was able to catch a slice of the staredown before the coyote was able to turn tail and escape.
He said the tabby is one of several outdoor cats in the neighbourhood, who have clearly learned to stand up for themselves — no surprise, as he said it is not uncommon for bears to wander through his own property.
As unusual as this showdown was, Lee — who makes a hobby of wildlife photography — said he took it in stride.
“It’s never different for me to come across an animal encounter,” he said.
“It’s always amazing.”