At one point, the distance between the man and the wild cat was just about 10 feet
A frightening encounter caught on camera shows a man from Salt Lake City being stalked by a mountain lion during a hike in Utah. “I am going away, I promise I am not going to bug you,” were the words said by Jared Smith when he spotted the wild cat. Mr Smith, who was hiking along the Broads Fork Trail, heard a noise behind him before realising it was a cougar. In the video shared by ViralHog, the man can be heard repeatedly telling the wild cat that he was not there to disturb it and that he would go away.
The lion — occasionally hissing — followed Mr Smith as he walked backwards, never turninghis back to the wild animal. There was a moment when the distance between the two was just about 10 feet, Mr Smith said.
“I faced the cougar and proceeded to back up and try to make myself big and talk calmly to the cougar,” the man was quoted as saying by ViralHog. The incident occurred on May 13, and lasted for about five minutes, two of which were captured on the video.
Later, talking to FOX13, Mr Smith said, “I know cougar attacks are very uncommon but I believe in this situation she was probably protecting her cubs. So, I know they’ll do just about anything to keep their cubs safe,” he said, adding that it took the cougar about five minutes before she stopped following him.
In a Facebook post, he admitted he was a bit taken aback by the encounter but was doing fine. He said the incident had shaken him more than hundreds of hours he had spent hiking and climbing. His wife said he was “rattled” all night long, adding one could tell he was terrified.
Will he go hiking again? The Utah man says he will take a few days off to process what had transpired that day, but the encounter was not going to prohibit him from hitting the trails again.
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