Roaring in fury, the giant predator reared up on his hind legs and lashed viciously at the tree trunk. The cat’s three-inch talons separated strips of bark eleven feet off the ground, sending the juvenile black bear scurrying even higher, safely out of the huge carnivore’s reach. In past years, the ill-tempered predator would have simply climbed the tree after his victim, or if the tree was too small to scale as in this case, used its heavy bulk and powerful front legs to push the sapling over. With the infection in his extremity steadily worsening each day, though, this was no longer an option. Growling and famished, the previous night’s ibex having barely touched his appetite, the enraged carnivore moved away, unmindful of the scattered snow flurries touching his white fur.