On the 10th of October, Kyle Burgess, a 26-year-old Utah hiker, went for a run in the woods nearby his home. He couldn’t have imagined what followed next. A female mountain lion attacked him, but before escaping, he managed to capture the 6-minute experience on film.
Utah hiker captured his terrifying encounter with cougar on camera
Fox News reported that Kyle was on a two-mile run on the Slate Canyon trail that evening. He noticed some kittens outside of the road and eagerly approached them and started filming. At first, he did not know what kind of animals they were. He thought they might have been baby bobcats.
When he realized what they really were, and when he noticed their mother, he just began screaming and growling at her. Kyle began swearing in shock, moving backwards as he tried to deter the protective mother.
According to Kyle, the best way to deter a mountain lion approaching was to be as intimidating and as large as possible and never to turn your back on the animal. However, the mountain cougar continued to chase him.
The National Park Service stated that mountain lions generally do not take part in confrontation that they might lose. For this reason, they also avoid being confronted with other mountain animals, too.
Another thing that the National Park Service advises is throwing items at the mountain animal directly if it does not back up. You should never bend over while doing it – it could encourage the animal to pounce.
Kyle decided to face the mountain lion and scare her even though it was a horrifying sequence. In the next six minutes, the mountain lion continued to run after him. At the end, Kyle managed to throw a rock at the lion and she run away. He could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Kyle shared his experience footage on YouTube and Instagram. He said that he was wrong for thinking that the baby cubs were little bobcats. Thousands of viewers had different opinions about Kyle`s experience. One group of them supported him and applauded his courage and survival instincts. Others blamed Kyle for initiating the contact.
Lifesaving guidelines for avoiding encounters with cougars
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources used Kyle`s footage to share some lifesaving advice. They gave advice against running from a mountain animal, as Kyle did at the beginning. In addition, they also stated that stopping and keeping an eye contact with the lion is important for terrifying it.
Standing up tall and making yourself look bigger by raising your arms above your head would also help you to deter the animal. The last type of defense would be to fight back in cases of physical attack and to protect your neck and head.
Cougars are protected animals of Utah. Kyle is not the first one to manage to initiate an attack with a mountain lion. Namely, in 2019, a runner from Colorado managed to run away from a mountain, choking it to death without any weapons or knives.