Updated: October 15, 2020 4:09:30 pm
A video showing a hiker being chased by a mountain lion or cougar on a trail in Utah is being widely shared on social media. The video shows the man frantically backtracking while trying to scare the animal away.
Kyle Burgess was on a hike in the Slate Canyon Trail over the weekend when he saw the animal at the end of a turn, only to realise it was a mountain lion with its cubs. The footage showed the mountain lion charging towards him, and him yelling expletives as he fled to safety.
“I found what I thought were bobcats on the trail during a run. Turns out they were cougar cubs and their mother was not happy to see me. She follows me for over six minutes acting very aggressive while I walk backwards up the trail. Very scary cougar encounter,” he wrote online while sharing the video.
“Go! Go! Go!” Burgess is heard yelling at the animal in the video recorded encounter. “Go away! I’m big and scary!”
“Come on, dude. I don’t feel like dying today,” he is heard saying at one point in the clip.
Watch the video here:
“I didn’t really know what kind of cubs they were or what animal they were. Once I did realised what they were, I was like, that’s mom right there. I’m screwed,” he told Fox 13. He added that he did all the “right things” by not turning around, making himself “bigger,” and making a lot of noise.
Burgess ultimately was able to throw a rock at the cougar, and it went away.
“It was a surreal moment,” he told The Salt Lake Tribune. “I go out on hikes all the time and you think nothing will really happen — until it does happen.”
Many pointed out that in the over six-minute-long video it’s visible that the man approached the animal and it was only trying to protect its young.
1. This video of a cougar “escorting” a hiker is going around & most people are just tweeting out the part where she’s behaving aggressively
What’s missing is the part where he approached her kittens/cubs
Also want to use this opportunity to talk about safety around large cats pic.twitter.com/Iq1BEzUQkP
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 13, 2020
4. The hiker who posted the video and many news outlets are saying she’s “stalking” him. That’s not what’s happening in that video. Cougars are ambush predators…if she were stalking him we wouldn’t see her on camera the whole time. She would have pounced on him out of nowhere.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 13, 2020
While wildlife management sometimes involves removing dangerous individuals, this should be selective. If uninformed voters are deciding management regulations based on biased or misinformation, we’re doing them and our wildlife a disservice.
— Imogene Cancellare (@biologistimo) October 12, 2020
Slate Canyon near Provo, Utah:
This guy went on his run and a cougar stalked him for more than 6-minutes.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) October 12, 2020
If you take the time to watch the full 6-min video, you can see that the hiker approached the cougar’s cubs. She is chasing him away from them. Her posturing isn’t, “I’m going to eat you,” it’s “Go away.” https://t.co/3JMbf1Beyf
— Maryn McKenna (@marynmck) October 13, 2020
Every clip of this encounter being tweeted cuts out the first minute where he spots a cougar at a distance running away from him and then walks after it to get a closer look https://t.co/q881u0rlRR
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) October 13, 2020
This hike is doing exactly what you DO NOT want to do in this situation. pic.twitter.com/RJwJh2LUZY
— virginia lingham (@vridesbikes) October 12, 2020
The cat took off when the hiker bent down to pick up a rock–suggesting that the cat has learned that when people do this, it gets hit–I was kind of sad to see that. The cat is in its home–it’s the people who are encroaching and threatening it. It’s just being a cat.
— SilphiumT (@Silphium_T) October 13, 2020
There’s a lot of species that I refer to as ankle bitters. This is a perfect example of an ankle bitter. You turn away you’re toast. This dude survived because he didn’t turn his back.
— Lucas Sharpe (@sharpe_lucas) October 13, 2020
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