Did A Mule Really Kill A Mountain Lion To Defend His Canine Friends?

The internet is buzzing with news and photographs that a mule bravely defended his canine pals from a mountain lion. The story, posted this time by a Facebook Page on Monday, has already been shared over 49 thousand times. The Facebook page, according to its description belongs to NY Times best-selling author Andy Andrews. Andrews’ page uploaded images of a cougar, allegedly getting creamed by a protective mule. The Facebook page, which has over 82 thousand likes itself, wrote, “This is almost unbelievable!” Andrews then re-posted the unbelievable story along with a photo. The Facebook post linked to some photos that were uploaded to an Ow.ly account also belonging to Andy Andrews. Here’s how the story that Andrews’ page posted went:

This may be a first… A couple from Montana were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera.

Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion, a mountain lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you’ll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision.

The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs.

With that, the mule took off and decided HE wanted a piece of that lion. That’s when all hell broke loose for the lion.

As the lion approached the dogs, the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, then whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride as if nothing had just happened.

Fortunately, even though the hunter didn’t get off a shot, his wife got off these four pictures.

The story, almost word for word, also appeared in a viral internet message in 2005, according to Snopes. It’s important to remember that social media pages for businesses, politicians, celebrities and even authors are often run by social media marketers, and not the people themselves. A marketers’ primary job is to know what will drive people to interact with the page they run. This could be the case with Andy Andrews, who is a very accomplished writer himself. One thing is certain, someone managing the writer’ Facebook page knows what the public wants to hear about. The public loved the idea of a mule attacking a mountain lion to defend its doggie pals.

just looked at a slideshow of a mule killing a mountain lion and mules are my favorite animal now

— Graham Pasteur (@GrahamPasteur) June 4, 2014

Mountain Lions are making a comeback in the US, and while they generally are quite elusive and shy away from humans, those who yearn for a good mountain lion story might check out the one previously covered by Inquisitr where a mountain lion attack was foiled by a skakeboarder.

Unfortunately, in the case of the mule defending his pals against a mountain lion, the internet has been fooled, once again, by a hoax. The photos are entirely real. The story of the mule defending the dogs from the mountain lion, however, is completely made up. The photographs of “Berry the mule” are from around 2002 to 2003, according to Steven Richards. Richards wrote about the photos for Western Mule Magazine. The mule belonged to Jody Anglin, a mountain lion hunter. She was hunting in New Mexico. Jodi took Berry out hunting with her often. When the mule would come upon a mountain lions Jodi hunted, he gradually became more aggressive towards the bodies of slain mountain lions, according to Richards. The mule never actually killed a mountain lion at all, he just was tossing the massive feline’s body around aggressively after it was already dead.

[Photo via Ow.ly]