By Andrea Romano
August 05, 2019
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Not everyone can handle heavy metal. Especially not, it seems, if you’re a big cat.

According to CNN, Hiker Dee Gallant and her dog, Murphy, managed to escape a run-in with a cougar in Canada, thanks to the head-banging magic of the heavy metal band Metallica.

On July 23, Gallant was hiking on Vancouver Island for a few miles when she noticed she was being stalked by the large cat. She attempted to get the animal to leave, since cougars often don’t approach humans this closely, according to CNN.

When she noticed the cougar was not being scared away, Gallant took out her phone to try again. A video she uploaded to Youtube shows the cat a short distance away from Gallant as she attempts to tell it to leave. According to CNN, she yelled and waved her arms. She can be heard in the video saying “bad kitty” and “get out of here” as the cat stood still, watching her.

It was then that Gallant chose to use some loud music to try and scare the animal, and she chose perhaps the perfect anthem: Metallica’s “Don’t Tread On Me.”

According to CNN, the loud drums and heavy vocals at the beginning of the song apparently did the trick and sent the cat running.

Perhaps it was the loud, unexpected noises that made the animal skittish. Or perhaps the cat is more into easy listening orr show tunes.

“I definitely think Metallica saved the day there, for sure,” Gallant told CNN.

Gallant said that her encounter lasted about five minutes. “I actually thought it was really cool that I got to see a cougar for so long. I thought it was exciting,” she told CNN. She apparently listened to the song on a loop for the rest of the hike as a precaution.

According to WTOP, encounters between humans and mountain lions (or cougars) are on the rise. Over the past few decades, the mountain lion population in North America has been increasing and expanding, meaning there are more of these big cats in areas where they weren’t before. In addition, humans are spending more leisure time outdoors, which is also a contributing factor to these encounters.

It’s important to note that this encounter is one of many that tourists can have outdoors, so it’s best to always research the wildlife in every area you’re visiting to know the right and wrong way to interact with them.

The Mountain Lion Foundation suggests that if you do encounter a mountain lion, you should remain calm, make yourself as big as possible, make noise, and keep your distance –– as Gallant did in her encounter. Heavy metal is optional but seems like a strong tactic.

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