Wildlife is one of the biggest attractions at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You could always tell when something interesting had been spotted by the cars pulled off to the side of the road. In this case, there were two park residents in opposite corners of the same big clearing. At one end was a black bear, foraging for its breakfast and at the other, this coyote, doing the same.
On a ridge a good football-field length away, stood a good-sized group of photographers and other gawkers watching the pair. If the two animals knew of each other’s presence, I couldn’t tell. The each seemed to be consumed with eating. The coyote seemed to be hunting some small animals, maybe mice. You could tell when he saw something when the ears perked up and he would occasionally jump and pounce.
It was a great sight but it was also one of those times when you say – “People are idiots”. Two separate occurrences of people wandering through the clearing without any regard for the wild animals happened while we were there. I don’t know if they didn’t realize that they were walking right toward them or if they were actually trying to get as close as possible but there they went. We didn’t witness any incidents of people getting eaten by wildlife but, I kind of wished we had.
Good thing there are park rangers around when these sighting are made. Otherwise, the bears would all be way too fat from eating stupid tourists!
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/8 – 1/200 sec – ISO 400