Cougar confrontation caught on camera, tips to protect yourself

SLATE CANYON, Ut. (KLKN) — A hiker’s nightmare was caught on camera. For at least six minutes, Kyle Burgess faced-off with a cougar while walking down a familiar Utah trail.

Thankfully, Burgess came out of the experience uninjured but says the animal was just a mother protecting her cubs.

While on his evening hike, Burgess stumbled across what he thought were wild kittens, unaware of the adult mountain lion lurking in the shadows.

“I came up on the cubs. That’s why I obviously pulled up my phone to take pictures of the wildlife,” said Burgess. “Once I realized it was a mountain lion,  she started chasing after me.”

After coming uncomfortably close, the big cat is finally scared off after Burgess throws a rock at it.

According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC), we have three mountain lion populations here in Nebraska. Although they are more common in the west, near Pine Ridge, there are multiple reports of mountain lions near metropolitan areas over the last decade.

So, what should you do if you cross this predator’s path?

NGPC offers these potentially life-saving tips:

  • Don’t approach the mountain lion.
  • Give the wild animal a path to escape (i.e. don’t trap or corner it).
  • Stay calm, move slowly.
  • If possible, back away safely. But, don’t turn your back to the mountain lion or start running.
  • Raise your arms or backpack to appear larger.
  • If children are with you, lift them up to keep them from running.
  • If you are being attacked, fight back. These big cats have been successfully driven off with bare hands or rocks. Try to remain on your feet or get back up if knocked down. Again, do not engage the animal physically unless you absolutely have to.

For more information about mountain lions in Nebraska, click here.

Categories: Nebraska News, News