While running near his home, a 26-year-old man came across a family of mountain lions, and the cougar chased him for 6 minutes until he managed to scare her off.
If you like running or jogging, you have surely stumbled across something unusual on your regular routes, or you have had an experience worth telling everyone about.
However, one Utah hiker has absolutely the best story ever! His encounter was rather unpleasant, to be exact, as he ran into a family of mountain lions, and the mother chased him for six minutes!
What’s more, it is all documented on video!
Kyle Burgess, 26, was running close to his home along the Slate Canyon trail near Provo when he suddenly noticed a group of wild kittens. He believed they were bobcat cubs, as they are a common sight in the area, and started recording them.
Yet, after a while, their mother came to the scene, and then he figured out that they were in fact mountain lion cubs, and their mother was extremely protective. He was terrified when she started charging at him!
His fear was evident on the audio of this unpleasant event, which shows him yelling at the mountain lion as he stalked him through the rocky path. He kept on yelling to scare her away, but as she continued following him, he talked to her calmly.
Nevertheless, she became even more aggressive after three minutes, started hissing, growling, and lunging at Burgess, swishing her tail and flashing her teeth violently.
In the video, he says:
“OK, this is when I f**king die. Come on, dude. I don’t feel like dying today.”
He then started screaming back at the cougar, shouting and cursing at the big cat while slowly backing away. At this point, he admits being very scared, adding that his heart was racing.
After a 6-minute-long chase, he quickly leaned down to grab a rock and threw it straight towards the cougar, which made her quit the chase and run back to her cubs.
Luckily, he managed to escape unharmed. Apart from the extreme fear he felt, he was amazed by the beauty of the aggressive mother, even though she was very strong and frightening.
He says that from today’s perspective, it feels like a dream to him.
“My emotions were a jumbled mess. So it was kind of like … ‘K, well this is going one of two ways. What’s the outcome going to be?’”
After the video went live on Instagram, it quickly spread around social media, and now, the hiker is in the center of viral attention. As expected, social media users attacked him for trespassing the cougar’s environment or shouting at the mother cougar.
However, the experienced hikers and people have praised his actions as just the right way to face the threat.
Scott Root, who works as a conservation outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources described Burgess’s actions as “awesome”.
The official met Burgess on Monday as DWR officers came to the area to find the cougar family, but the animals seem to have moved on.
Root said that he thinks Burgess did everything in the right way, making a lot of noise, simply staying large and loud and backing away from the area and not going towards the mother and her kittens.
Yet, it would be best for hikers to carry bear spray and bring a friend for such trail runs.
“In that situation, with that mother mountain lion who’s being very protective, as you can tell, I would not take my eyes off of her and I wouldn’t bend down. You want to remain large and you want to remain making a lot of noise. And that’s what he did.”
Kate Remsen, who works with the Living with Lions, explained that the mountain lion was not stalking Burgess. She added that” these mountain lions are not going to actively attack a human being unless they need to defend themselves or they’re scared”, and this mother just attempted to push him away from her cubs,
Although such encounters are rare, she agreed that Burgess did many of the recommended things in that situation.