Nickolas Melville was out for an average morning jog in the Rancho San Antonio Preserve, a 4,000-acre park in Los Altos, California, when a small group of men motioned for him to stop. Thirty feet away, a full sized mountain lion was locked in a deadly embrace with a giant antlered buck, slowly suffocating the large animal as it kicked and twitched.
"It was this weird, surreal battle without any noise, except the rustling of leaves and panting of the animals," Melville told the local CBS affiliate. "It was like a series of rounds between prize fighters. The deer would drag the mountain lion, stabbing it with its antlers, and then it would stop, panting and catching its breath."
It was not a quick and painless death.
“It took a long time for the mountain lion to suffocate the deer. But at the end the deer finally passed out and it clear was who was going to be the winner."
The other watchers went on their way, and Melville suddenly found himself alone with one of the area’s fifty or so elusive, and potentially lethal, wildcats.
"It was just me and the lion," he admitted. "I'm like, ‘now I'm not comfortable.’"
Melville stayed for a while longer, warning other passerby not to startle the beast, and called 911 to alert the park’s rangers, who closed the area for several days and eventually removed the carcass.