Utah hiker stalked by a cougar for 6 minutes while he sloooowly backed away
By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN
(CNN/CBS) -- A runner in Utah got more than he bargained for when he ran into a mother cougar and her cubs on a trail.
Kyle Burgess started a recording of what he thought were bobcats but ended up being stalked for 6 minutes by a female mountain lion, he told Desert News.
His video shows Burgess walking up to small cats on the trail in Slate Canyon, near Provo, and then out of nowhere the mom comes running up. Burgess gives her a few choice words and then starts walking in the opposite direction, growling and yelling at the large cat hoping to scare it off.
"Go away! I'm big and scary!" Burgess says between expletives. "What's up dude? Nice and slow."
The agitated cat then proceeds to follow Burgess for the next six minutes, all while Burgess is yelling and growling at the animal.
"OK, this is when I (expletive) die," he says. "Come on, dude. I don't feel like dying today."
Throughout the entire video Burgess never turns his back away from the animal as she continued to lunge and hiss at him. Finally, he throws a rock at the mountain lion and she runs away, leaving him relieved in the clear.
"Wow, that just happened," Burgess said into the camera when he could finally relax. "I'm somewhat calm actually. Yeah, not going back that way."
Burgess told the newspaper that when he returned to his car there was no sign of the mom and her cubs, and after the scary ordeal he was unharmed.
"My emotions were a jumbled mess," he said. "So it was kind of like ... 'K, well this is going one of two ways. What's the outcome going to be?'"
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources posted the video on its Facebook page with a warning: "Utah is cougar country!"
The post offered the following suggestions should you happen to have such an encounter of your own.
- Stop. Never run from a cougar and do not approach the cougar.
- Maintain eye contact with the animal
- Stand up tall
- Do not crouch or squat
- Make yourself look bigger by raising and waving your arms or jacket above your head
- Talk firmly in a loud voice, back away slowly, and leave the area
- Pick up children and pets or keep them very close
- Fight back if you are attacked! Protect your head and neck
Cougars are a protected species in Utah. They are typically shy.
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