Cougars are hard-wired to kill, that’s how they survive. But do they always chase prey because they’re hungry? No one knows for sure.
There are instances where cougars chose to tackle large prey such as a buck elk even when smaller animals are readily accessible. Biologist and cougar safety expert, Dave Eyer, speculates this might be because some cougars like a big challenge even when no one’s around to applaud.
I’ll take that one step further and suggest that sometimes cougars chase prey for practise or for the sheer pleasure of the pursuit. Of course, if they catch what they’re after, they’ll kill and eat it.
Take a look at these photos of a cougar chasing a howler money through the trees in Costa Rica and see what you think.