A terrifying video of a cougar stalking a hiker in Provo, Utah has gone viral. Frightened for his life, the young man made it out of this encounter unscathed. His video reminds us all the wildlife is not to be messed with.
Viral Video of a Cougar ‘Stalking’ a Hiker
Many of us take for granted that we can go out for a jog or hike on a trail without giving it much thought. This young man was quickly reminded that in cougar country, you can never forget who’s territory you’re in. (1)
Earlier this month, Kyle Burgess of Provo, Utah, headed out for an early-evening jog on a trail near his home. He was familiar with this trail and visited it often. (1)
While jogging down the trail, he saw what he thought were wild kittens and pulled out his phone to take a video of the little cuties. He quickly realized, however, that these were not just kittens, these were cougar cubs, and their mother was there to protect them. (1)
“I came upon the cubs, and that’s when I obviously pulled out my phone, to take pictures of the wildlife,” Burgess told Abc News. “Once I realized it was a mountain lion, she started chasing after me.” (1)
Six Minutes of Terror
Burgess kept the camera rolling and captured the entire thing in the six-minute-long video you can watch below.
In the beginning, we see the mother cougar come out of the bushes, ready to attack. Backing away from the animal, Burgess can be heard yelling, telling the big cat to go away, and even at one point said to her “I’m big and scary!” perhaps more to convince himself than her. (2)
Throughout the six-minute stand-off, the cat can be seen at lunging towards his, arms and claws out. (2)
Eventually, he is able to bend down and pick up a rock. Once he throws it in her direction she runs off back down the trail to her cubs. (2)
Not physically hurt but visibly shaken, Burgess knows how lucky he is, telling Abc how the cat came within four feet of him. (2) The caption of his video, which has now been viewed more than 132,000 times, reads:
“Sorry, not sorry, for the language. I thought I was done for!” (1)
Cougar Stalking a Hiker or Just Escorting?
According to their post, the cougar was not actually stalking Burgess, but instead escorting him away from her cubs. This is important as using the wrong language can potentially bring harm to an animal that was doing nothing more than ensuring her cubs were not in danger. (3)
Of course, the encounter is still extremely scary. You never know just what a wild animal is going to do, so Burgess is still very lucky that nothing more happened to him.
Many people have seen the video of a hiker’s encounter with a mountain lion on a trail in Utah that has recently gone…Posted by WildCare on Tuesday, October 13, 2020
How to Survive an Encounter with a Mountain Lion
Though cougar attacks are rare, they do happen and then can most certainly be deadly. If you are planning on hitting the trails in cougar country then you need to be familiar with mountain lion safety and what to do if you come across one.
Here are some top tips for cougar safety:
1. Don’t run.
Repeat after me: You cannot outrun a mountain lion. Not only that, but running makes you look more like prey. Instead, you should:
- Stand your ground
- Make yourself as big as possible
- Make eye contact with the animal
- Be loud and speak firmly
2. Stay calm
Freaking out will not help you, staying as level-headed as possible will. If you’ve made yourself big and loud and the cougar still has not left you alone, throw things at it such as rocks or branches. This will make you seem more annoying than you are worth.
Be sure not to turn your back or lose eye contact while you bend down to pick up an item to throw.
3. Watch for cubs, dead prey, and tracks
When mountain lions make a kill, they bury it and come back over the next several days to feed. If you see this or even just their tracks, remain calm and keep moving as quickly as you can without running. This is especially important if you see cubs or cub tracks. While these big cats prefer to keep their distance from humans, they will protect their young no matter what.
4. Fight Back
If the cat does attack you, do not play dead – fight back with everything you have. Kick, scream, punch, use a weapon if you can. Your best bet is to fight the animal off before it can finish the job.
For more detailed information on how to survive a cougar attack, READ HERE.
The Bottom Line
When taking advantage of the incredible nature our planet has to offer, it is important to remember that these areas are the homes of a variety of wildlife. We must respect them and give them their space.
It is best practice to never go into areas with known populations of potentially dangerous animals alone. You are more likely to be left alone or to survive an attack in greater numbers.