Utah Mountain Lion Encounter Captured in Terrifying Video
While it contains explicit language, this terrifying video shot shot early October 2020 in Provo’s Slate Canyon shows what can happen when you encounter a cougar on the trail.
Utahn Kyle Burgess went out for a run on October 10 in Slate Canyon near Provo, Utah. He came upon a mature cougar and her cubs–and the cougar began stalking and lunging at Burgess with its claws out. Though rare, this video shows how scary a mountain lion encounter can be!
Deer are a mountain lion’s primary prey, and you’ll find them anywhere deer are. PSA: That’s almost every northern Utah hiking trail. Typically shy and reclusive unless threatened, you’ve probably been followed by a mountain lion and never known it. Cougars live in diverse climates from the High Uinta wilderness to the dry southern deserts. In Utah, they typically live in pinyon-juniper and pine-oak brush areas.
Adult mountain lions weigh 90–200 lbs. Female raise the kittens alone until they are a year-and-a-half old. You can see cougar kittens at the beginning of the video. Otherwise, cougars are solitary animals that hunt at dawn and dusk.
WARNING: This video contains explicit language and is pretty terrifying to watch. Mute it if you don’t want to hear profanities.
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What to do if you encounter a mountain lion
Learn what to do and not do when you encounter a mountain lion (cougar) from the tips below, or visit Wild Aware Utah.
Stand your ground: Never lie down or play dead. Stay calm and give the cougar a chance to leave. Prepare to use your bear spray or another deterrent.
Don’t run away or climb a tree. Cougars can run fast! You cannot outclimb or outrun them.
Maintain eye contact. Don’t turn away from the cougar. Back up slowly, be loud, and maintain eye contact with the animal.
Fight back. And never give up! People have successfully defended themselves with almost anything: rocks, sticks, backpacks, water bottles and even their hands and feet. Protect your head and neck and keep fighting!