A Utah man filmed the terrifying six minutes he was stalked and lunged at by a cougar after he accidentally came too close to her cubs as he hiked on Saturday.
Kyle Burgess, 26, was heading back from a trail run at Slate Canyon near Provo at around 5pm when he spotted the cubs ahead of him, according to KSL.com.
Within seconds, their mother appeared, beginning a tense encounter as she hissed and snarled at Burgess while pushing him back along the path.
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A cougar stalked hiker Kyle Burgess for a terrifying six minutes on Saturday afternoon
On several occasions, the cougar leaped forward to push Burgess back
‘Really, I didn’t know what they were, and I usually pull my phone out like, “Oh cool, animals”, he said.
‘Once I did realize what they were, I was like, that’s mom right there. I’m screwed,’ he told Fox 13.
Burgess had started to film when the mother arrived and continued to record as she approached and he began to back away.
In the six-minute clip posted to Instagram, a terrified Burgess swears and shouts at the cougar to try and scare it.
Despite his panic, he remembered to back slowly away and tried to make himself as large as possible.
The cougar came within feet of him as it began to jump toward him with its claws out around three minutes in.
‘No! No! Go away! Please go away!’ Burgess shouts as the animal lunged.
‘C’mon dude! I don’t feel like dying today!’ he adds.
Burgess said he had watched YouTube videos previously about how to react in such a situation and on several occasions, tried to grab something to throw but the cougar leaped forward every time he tried.
Burgess was eventually able to reach down and grab a rock to throw at the cougar, sending it running away back to its cubs.
‘So yeah, that just happened … holy cow. Yeah, not going back that way,’ Burgess says at the end of the video, as he shows his shaking hand while he sits on the ground to recover.
He stayed there for another half an hour before calming down enough to make the two-mile journey down the canyon.,
Kyle Burgess, 26, was heading back from a trail run at Slate Canyon near Provo at around 5pm when he spotted the cubs ahead of him. The mother appeared within seconds
Burgess shared the terrifying video to Instagram on Sunday
He remained sitting on the path for 30 minutes as he recovered from the shock
Burgess said that he still can’t believe it happened and that it was a ‘very long 6 minutes’
‘I felt for sure like “this is going to hurt, this won’t be fun”, especially all those times where she kind of pounces at me,’ he said Monday, adding that he still can’t believe it happened and keeps thinking it was a dream.
‘It was a very long 6 minutes.’
Burgess also reported the sighting to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources but a pair of state conservation officers did not locate the cougar and its cubs when they checked the area Sunday.
‘It’s a great reminder that we’re not alone out there,’ said Scott Root, the division’s outreach manager, adding that the video was ‘alarming’ and ‘kind of a scary video to watch’.
‘She wanted to make sure that he was not a threat. She let him know very well that you need to get out of here, and he did that,’ he said.
Root believes that Burgess handled the situation the best way possible.
‘He didn’t turn around and run, which was the right thing. He made lots of noise; he didn’t crouch or do anything to get smaller. We want to appear big, so basically he did great,’ he said.
‘I really admire that he did everything right.’