A hiker in Utah is grateful to be alive after a terrifying encounter with a cougar on a hiking trail. Kyle Burgess was on a run when he crossed paths with a pack of cougar cubs.
The cubs’ mother then approached Kyle, and followed him on the trail for over six minutes. Kyle captured the ordeal on video, and it has since gone viral.
“She was just protecting her babies,” says Kyle, who won’t let the scare keep him from the trail. “I love being outside and I’ll definitely be back out there.”
Although your first instinct may be to turn and run, experts say that Kyle did the right thing by facing the animal and backing away slowly. The National Parks Service has some safety tips if you encounter a wild cat:
- Face the animal and stand upright – crouching down makes you look like prey to the animal, and it may try to attack you.
- Do NOT run – running stimulates the animals instinct to chase.
- Try to appear as intimidating as possible – slowly wave your hands and yell at the animal in a loud, stern voice.
- Throw things at the animal – sticks, rocks, anything you can grab ahold of without having to turn your back or crouch down.
The National Parks Service has more mountain lion safety tips here.