Luckily, he was left unharmed.

By Andrea Romano
October 14, 2020

Going for a hike sounds like a fun and relaxing way to spend a fall day — as long as you don’t run into a cougar.

Kyle Burgess, a man who lives in Provo, Utah, had a scary run-in with a cougar while on a mountain trail on Oct. 10. Thankfully, Burgess managed to deter the big cat after a little over six minutes of it stalking him on the path.

Burgess posted an IGTV video on Instagram documenting his entire experience. The encounter began when Burgess spotted a baby cougar near the trail. The mother cougar soon appeared, hissing at and stalking Burgess as he backed away from her and tried everything he could to scare her off.

The traditional advice for warding off a mountain lion or cougar generally involves making yourself appear larger, making noise, slowly creating distance between you and the animal, and never turning your back or doing anything that might give them a reason to chase.

Burgess can be heard in the video trying to do all of these methods, but the determined cougar wasn’t so easily brushed off. Perhaps the most nerve-wracking parts of Burgess’ video are when the cougar hisses loudly and starts to look as if she is going to attack.

Burgess was finally able to ward her off by throwing a big rock into the distance. “That just happened,” Burgess said in the video after the cougar ran off. “Yeah, not going back that way.”

Even though Burgess seemed to get the scare of his life, he said that he understood why this cougar acted in the way she did. “Mom was just doing her job,” Burgess told ABC7, “She was protecting her babies.”

He added that the whole experience hasn’t deterred him from spending time on the trails, telling ABC7, “It’s what I love to do.”

It’s important to take every precaution and stay safe while exploring the great outdoors, so always be sure to plan ahead.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @theandrearomano.