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Wildlife photographer comes face-to-face with mountain lion, video goes viral

The experience photographer said he knew not to run, and instead stood their ground and made a loud noise.

mountain lion, mountain lion chase hikers, photographer talk down mountain lion, california mountain lion encounter, viral news, indian expressLuckily, all involved in the encounter were safe, as the wildcat walked after a stare down contest.

A wildlife photographer’s recent hiking trip on a California trail turned into a scary affair after spotting a mountain lion all of a sudden! Now, the moment caught on camera has got everyone talking online.

Mark Girardeau and his friend Rachel de Vlugt were on a trail in Orange County’s Trabuco Canyon recently when they spotted the wildcat gazing at them through a bush. Girardeau told FTW Outdoors that they had just set up a few tracking cameras set out to capture wildlife when they saw the mountain lion run up a hill and stop to watch them, from perhaps 20 feet away.

The experienced photographer said he knew it was best not to run. They stood their ground and made a loud noise. In the video shared by him on his social media handles, he could be heard repeatedly shouting at the animal to go back.

The pair said the mountain lion followed them for a brief while, before wandering away as caught on camera.

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“Thank God Mark was there because I think I would have taken off running (which is obviously the worst thing you can do). We held our ground and so did the lion for what felt like an eternity,” de Vlugt wrote on Instagram sharing the video footage.

Taking to Instagram, Girardeau wrote: “I think there are 2 things that could have caused this: either she has a kill nearby and she was defending it or she ran up at us not realising we were humans since she couldn’t completely see us from down below. There were deer in the area that we saw so she probably assumed it was them.”

Girardeau told CBS Los Angeles that he would be lying if he said the encounter was not scary, adding it was the only way to deal with the wildcat at the moment.

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Girardeau, who has been tracking wildlife in the Orange County wilderness, later in an update said he could recognise the mountain lion in the now-viral clip. He identified the animal as a female mountain lion named Uno, recognisable by her damaged eye.

“It just happened so fast. You don’t have any time to plan it. It just happens and you’re forced into the situation and you have to react. You can’t run away,” he said.

First published on: 09-11-2021 at 05:19:22 pm
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