The mountain lion that was stalking him however just circled the base, stared upwards and growled for a few minutes before giving up and walking off.
The drama unfolded on the Giant Saguaro Cactus in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. It is an enormous plant with two-inch spikes and is thought to be up to 300-years-old.Photographer Curt Fonger, 69, captured what happened on film.
He said: ‘A friend called me at 7am saying one of his workers had seen a bobcat being chased by a mountain lion.
‘It ran across the road in front of his car and climbed up a large saguaro cactus at the roadside, with the lion hot on its tail.’The lion didn’t pursue the bobcat up the cactus but circled the base.
‘It looked up at the bobcat, growled several times, then turned around and trotted back up from where it had come.’The mountain lion probably had cubs, the bobcat had intruded on its territory and she gave chase to warn the bobcat not to come close to her young family.
‘I was astonished that the bobcat was on such a high prickly perch.’In fact, the beautiful creature seemed quite content and was lying on top of the cactus. It only stood up when I got it’s attention.’But I found out later that the bobcat stayed put for over six hours before finally deciding it was safe enough to come back down.
Curt, from Gold Canyon, Arizona, added: ‘Although it may be common for a bobcat to escape one of it’s major predators, it is very uncommon to have witnessed such an event first hand. ‘I personally examined the base of the giant cactus after the bobcat had left. ‘There was no hair or blood – only claw marks.
‘Its a successful story of a bobcat avoided being eaten by a mountain lion with a happy ending of it’s successful exit back into the desert.’ The giant cactus is extremely rare. Just one in 1,000 seeds germinate and it then takes up to ten years to grow one inch.Its first arm develops between the ages of 75 and 100 years old or about the time they reach 15ft.