Cougar Stalks Hiker Who Was Filming Her Four Cubs

By Bill Galluccio

October 13, 2020

hiker in Utah got a little too close to four cougar cubs in Slate Canyon. Kyle Burgess was in the middle of a 10-mile run when he encountered the cubs and pulled out his phone to film them.

As Burgess was recording, he noticed the cubs' mother was stalking him. Burgess backed away as the cougar hissed and growled at him. Whenever he looked away, the cougar would lunge towards him, but it never attacked.

Burgess yelled at the cougar as it disappeared back into the woods, only to reappear as it tried to flank him.

"OK, this is when I f****** die," he says at one point during the encounter. "Come on, dude. I don't feel like dying today."

After about six minutes, Burgess picked up a rock and threw it towards the cougar. That was enough to get the cougar to retreat back to its cubs and leave him alone.

"My emotions were a jumbled mess," he told Desert News. "So it was kind of like ... 'K, well this is going one of two ways. What's the outcome going to be?'"

Officials with Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources said that Burgess handled the terrifying situation well and did everything right.

"He backed away. He didn't go toward the mountain lion or her kittens. He made a lot of noise... He stayed large, he stayed loud, and he backed away from the area for quite a while. I think he did everything really well," said Scott Root, DWR's conservation outreach manager for central Utah.

Photo: Getty Images

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