It was supposed to be a relaxing jog in nature. But while out on an afternoon run in Slate Canyon, Utah, Kyle Burgess had an encounter with a cougar he’ll never forget.
He was out on Saturday October 10, 2020 around 5pm and just 2 miles from the trailhead when he saw four cougar cubs on the trail. Immediately after, he spotted their mother as she rounded the corner. That is when the trouble began.
With his camera’s record button on, Burgess filmed the next six harrowing minutes as the cougar pursued him as he slowly backed up and headed down the trail. In the video, the mama cat approaches Burgess and several times charges at him with her teeth and claws extended. Each time Burgess manages to maintain his cool and yells at the cat to go away. The cougar continues to stalk him, disappearing at one point only to pop out of the bushes closer than before.
“This is scary,” he says at one point, “I don’t feel like dying today.”
Finally, after what seems like an eternity, Burgess is able to grab a rock and scare the cougar off and she runs back to her cubs.
“When she lunged in the video is when I either took my eyes off of her or I went to look for a rock,” Burgess later told KSL. “I didn’t feel like I was going to lose my life. I definitely thought I was going to get hurt.”
The following news video contains clips of the encounter.
According to the wildlife experts, he did everything right. He stayed large, stayed loud, didn’t lose eye contact and didn’t pick up the rock too soon.