Kyle Burgess pleaded with the animal for 6 minutes. It is only after that he got the chance to pick up a rock and hurl it at the animal.
Seeing the possibility of death is frightening. That moment between life and death can take your minds to the darkest places. Kyle Burgess came across such an incident. The young man did not expect to come out alive but he knew he didn't want to die that day either.
According to Deseret News, the 26-year-old from Utah encountered a mountain lion, also known as a cougar during his run. The 6-minute video shot by the man showed the narrow escape he had after the lion followed him to a distance. The event took place on the evening of October 10, 2020, when Burgess went on a run about 2 miles up Slate Canyon.
As he ran across the trail, he saw four small animals scurrying ahead of him. Thinking the animals were little bobcats, the man picked up his phone to capture them. However, moments later, he realized the danger in front of him. He noticed the mother of the kids and it dawned on him the little animals were mountain lion cubs and not bobcats.
Seeing him at a distance, the mother charged towards him. The sudden encounter left the man in confusion and fear. He hurled curse words at the charging animal. Though the animal disappeared for a few moments, the mother reappeared and started following Burgess. She growled and hissed at the man.
Meanwhile, Burgess kept moving away with his eye locked on the mother. After minutes of letting out a stream of profanities at the animal, Burgess started calling the animal "dude."
He started shouting and even trying to be a little kind to the animal. He is heard telling the lion to go back to her little ones. Burgess did everything he could to convince the animal to go away, according to NPR. He even growled and grunted at the animal. However, the fearless lion flashed her teeth at the man as if it was ready to pounce on him.
Kyle Burgess said he'd stumbled upon the mountain lion's cubs during a trail run in Utah's Slate Canyon. https://t.co/yz87nCXEtH— HuffPost (@HuffPost) October 13, 2020
Meanwhile, Burgess made sure to face the animal instead of turning its back against him. He yelled “Go! Go! Go!.” Whenever he shifted his eyes from the mother to pick up a rock, the lion lunged at him. “No! Go away! I’m big and scary!," yelled Burgess. However, nothing motivated the mother to retreat.
Burgess then tried a different approach and tried pleading with the animal. "You’re good! You’re good little kitty cat. ... Nice and slow. Come on," said the man. He repeatedly pleaded to her and told her to go back to her cubs. The animal continued to follow the man.
At one point, he said, "OK, this is when I (expletive) die. Come on, dude. I don’t feel like dying today.” However, moments later, he managed to pick up a rock and throw it at the animal. Finally, she decided to take off.
Speaking of the terrifying experience, Burgess said, "Wow, that just happened. Honestly right now it still feels like a dream," according to Deseret News.
After waiting for 30 minutes, he headed back on the same trail but this time with a stick and a rock. On meeting some hikers on the way, he asked them if they had encountered the lion and the cubs. However, they laughed it off. Hoping to convince them, the man showed them the video of what had happened to him minutes ago.
Recalling the incident, the young man stated how beautiful as well as scary the animal was. He claimed his mind and heart were racing every time the animal looked like she was going to attack.
Before Kyle Burgess could react to the cougar cubs on the trail ahead of him, the 26-year-old Orem man found himself face-to-face with the cubs' mother in a tense encounter he caught on camera over the weekend. https://t.co/9K32uXoIvF— KSL (@KSLcom) October 12, 2020
“My emotions were a jumbled mess. So it was kind of like ... ‘K, well this is going one of two ways. What’s the outcome going to be?’” said Burgess. Meanwhile, the video garnered a lot of attention online.
Scott Root from Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources told the young man that he did great. “He backed away. He didn’t go toward the mountain lion or her kittens. He made a lot of noise... He stayed large, he stayed loud and he backed away from the area for quite a while. I think he did everything really well.”