Wildlife photographer Aaron Baggenstos was in the right place at the right time last week. On May 9, Baggenstos was leading a “Pumas of Patagonia” trip through his company Aaron’s Photo Tours, when he happened upon an intense wildlife interaction—a mountain lion attempting to take down a guanaco.
“I had the immense privilege of witnessing and filming one of the most unforgettable events of my career,” wrote Baggenstos in an Instagram post. “This heart-pounding chase showcases an incredible display of skill, strength, and survival instincts as these two species engage in an age-old dance that epitomizes life in the wild. Prepare to be amazed by this epic puma-guanaco hunt captured in the stunning wilds of Patagonia.”
Baggenstos did not disclose the exact location of where the footage was taken. The video shows a mountain lion jumping onto the back of the guanaco and attempting to kill it with a bite to the neck. But the guanaco slams the lion down, rears back, and kicks its hooves out. As the guanaco flees, the mountain lion pounces on it again. But eventually, the guanaco manages to escape.
According to National Geographic, guanacos are related to camels, llamas, and alpacas. The wild critters live in the high country of the Ande Mountains in South America. They’re herbivores known to form herds of up to 50 individuals. Guanacos can weigh up to 265 pounds, while mountain lions typically top out at around 220 pounds.
This recent incident is far from the first time a guanaco has faced off with a mountain lion. These videos show similar interactions. Enjoy.