"Go away. Please, go away. Dude, I don't feel like dying today," he can be heard saying in the viral video.
What should have been just a regular hiking trail in Utah turned out to be one hell of an adventure for a 26-year-old man. Okay, adventure might not be the right word here but for Kyle Burgess, a six-minute-long encounter with a cougar not only left his heart racing but even millions of viewers who saw the events unfold in a viral video. On Saturday, the hiker somehow managed to survive the terrifying encounter with the mountain lion after the animal chased and charged at him. While many publications have been reporting that the cougar was 'stalking' the man, however, here's what happened - the mountain lion was just protecting her cubs from any potential danger. It was, in fact, just a parental, natural instinct from a wild animal and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
While talking to CBS News about the incident in Slate Canyon, Burgess said, "You see the two cubs and one kind of runs off, but then I didn't notice mom was right there and that's when I knew it was not a good situation to be in." If you've already seen the video, you would have noticed Burgess keeping his composure as he slowly walks away while the big cat follows him. He can be seen cursing, making loud noises while maintaining a safe distance.
1. This video of a cougar "escorting" a hiker is going around & most people are just tweeting out the part where she's behaving aggressively— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 13, 2020
What's missing is the part where he approached her kittens/cubs
Also want to use this opportunity to talk about safety around large cats pic.twitter.com/Iq1BEzUQkP
"Go away. Please, go away. I'm big and scary. Dude, I don't feel like dying today," Burgess can be heard saying in the video. "Go with your babies." "She got within four feet of me," Burgess said. Around the halfway mark, one can even see the mountain lion hiss and charge with her claws out at the hiker. I could feel the fear within myself while looking at the big cat at that point, and I can't honestly fathom what Burgess must have felt at that moment. And then finally, he managed to throw a rock and scare the big cat away. Now most of us would be thinking, okay so why didn't he do this much earlier?
The guy aproached what he thought were two bobcats. They were this mother cougar's cubs. She escorted his ass out of the area. If she wanted to eat him, we would have no video of this encounter. https://t.co/djwzrMm25m— maurice hébert (@liberal_maurice) October 13, 2020
Well, it was important that he didn't make this move while he was close to the cubs or anywhere near that territory. This could have provoked the animal to attack him, so Burgess had to back off and maintain some distance. He also never turned his back on the animal, which ensured that the cougar didn't pounce on him at any point. "It was just like it's over," he told CBS News. "Those six minutes were so long for me."
That video circulating of the hiker filming that cougar...— Chris: The Nuclear Cowboy From The Abyss 😜⚓🆘 (@HacksawIs) October 13, 2020
I definitely would not be up for that. My ass would've ran the moment I saw her...I'd probably be dead, but meh. pic.twitter.com/WrTzfLP56D
Meanwhile, Kate Remsen, an expert who works with the Living with Lions, said that the things Burgess did were, in fact, right. She said that while the mountain lion was not stalking Burgess, it was just keeping the cubs away from him. Now if you are having second thoughts about going on a hike after seeing this video, Remsen says that such encounters are quite rare. "These mountain lions are not going to actively attack a human being unless they need to defend themselves or they're scared," she said. Long story short -- leave them alone and you will be fine!
Following the incident, Burgess shared the heart-stopping video on Instagram, where it has been viewed over a million times. "Sorry, not sorry for the language," the video caption says. "I thought I was done for!" Ever since the video went viral, people had a lot to say about the incident. Many noted that it was never the fault of the animal for its reaction. "That’s why you don’t approach a mountain lion cub. He got what he deserved. That’s a badass mama doing her job." Another added: "Well I'm glad he recognized WHY it was happening...I'm sick and tired of people actually thinking they could commune with bears and wolves. Then the animal suffers. He was wise in the circumstance surrounding her reaction and how to handle it."
What did you think of the video? Let us know!