The runner’s direct footage catalogues the absolutely terrifying six minutes the mountain lion was stalking and charging him.
As any resident living near mountain lion habitat will tell you, these giant felines can be truly horrifying. Their talent for silent stalking and swift striking make them the perfect predator. One too many times, too, they’ve been caught hunting humans.
The latest to catch such an event unfolding is Colorado runner Kyle Burgess. As seen within the footage from his phone, Burgess is on a run through autumn foliage when a mountain lion appears behind him. Immediately he begins filming what looks to be a smaller cougar. Then it charges, and reveals itself to be a predator equal to his size.
Runner films over 6 minutes of mountain lion stalking him
The horrifying incident lasts over 6 minutes, with Burgess consistently keeping eye contact with the lion. He never turns his back, which is key to his survival. The runner also makes lots of noise and tries to remain standing as to not trigger an attack.
Perhaps the most dangerous animal lurking in Colorado’s vast wilderness, mountain lion encounters are no joke.
Past the two minute mark in the video, the lion begins pouncing at Burgess. From there, it becomes clear he needs to do something to save his life. Eventually, he takes a split second to pick up a stone at his feet. He throws it directly at the lion – and finally she scampers off in the opposite direction.
Popular Colorado outdoors site OutThereColorado.com notes that there are actually two mountain lions in the video. This, they say, holds the key to this event.
It’s likely the lion in this video was so aggressive because kits were around, as seen when a small lion turns to run at the beginning of the video. Mountain lions are more likely to be more brazen when defending their children.OutThereColorado.com
Watch the footage
Burgess posts the footage directly from his phone to his Instagram.
Warning again: The footage is intense, and, as such, it features a breadth of intense (and appropriate to the situation) language. Watch it here.
OTC points out how – and why – Burgess survives
According to OutThereColorado, the runner does many things correctly during his mountain lion encounter. As we mentioned, Burgess doesn’t turn his back, nor does he try to run from the predator. Their full list, which contains excellent insight from Colorado wildlife professionals, can be found below. If you are ever unfortunate enough to find yourself being stalked by a mountain lion, too, you’ll want to have read this:
1. “He didn’t run, he slowly backed away. This can help prevent a charge response from the lion.
2. He maintained eye contact with the lion as much as possible. Something to note is that the lion seems to charge when he turns back to spot the trail showing how important this eye contact is to keep the lion at a distance.
3. He made loud noises to try to scare off the cat. This is one thing he probably could have done more, though the cat seemed undeterred by his yelling.
4. He tried to make himself big. Though this isn’t seen in the first-person video, he references this.
5. He remained calm. Keeping his cool prevented his fear from resulting in a bad decision.”
One thing that he could have done would be to throw objects in the direction of the lion earlier on. This is what appears to be what eventually scares the lion away. However, in the video, it is unclear whether or not Burgess has anything to throw. While there are rocks around him on the ground, bending down to a crouched position can trigger an attack.OutThereColorado.com
Post-attack advice aside, OTC & Outsider.com are glad to see Burgess escape unscathed. His footage, too, serves as a powerful warning for any living in the same area as mountain lions. If you live in an active area, it is always best to hike or run with company – never alone. Carrying an air-horn, bear spray, or both is advised if you must go alone.