Cougar hiker encounter Utah.
Cougar hiker encounter Utah.

Just recalling this frightening cougar encounter near Salt Lake City when a man was stalked by a big cat on the Broads Fork Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The man had the wherewithal to pull out his phone and capture the entire interaction on video.

Observe how the hiker backed away slowly, maintained eye contact, raised his voice, spoke firmly, and refrained from running. These actions likely deterred the cougar from attacking and possibly saved his life.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources:

In the rare event that you do happen to encounter a cougar, here are some tips to help keep you safe:

  • Never run from a cougar, since that could trigger the cougar’s instincts to chase.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Pick up children and pets or keep them very close.
  • Stand up tall.
  • Do not crouch or squat.
  • Make yourself look bigger by raising and waving your arms or jacket above your head.
  • Talk firmly in a loud voice, back away slowly and leave the area.
  • Fight back if you are attacked! Protect your head and neck.
  • If you are aggressive enough, the cougar will probably flee.

“Typically, a cougar that is trying to prey on something will sneak up and ambush them. When a cougar lunges or bluffs a charge at someone, they are typically just trying to drive them out of the area because they have kittens or a kill nearby that they are trying to protect.” Darren DeBloois,Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Game Mammals Coordinator

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