A hiker has shared a video of the moment he came face-to-face with a mountain lion on a quiet trail in Utah. Garrett Foster was walking alone when he surprised the animal.
""I saw it off about 10 feet in the bushes," he said after the encounter at Mill Creek Canyon. “It just jumped out at me. She jumped. Not jumped towards me, but like hurled herself towards me and was like ‘roar!’"
You can see the tail-end of Foster's meeting with the animal in the video below, which shoes the mountain lion turning and running back into the undergrowth.
Foster says he picked up a rock to throw at the animal, and had his knife to hand, but the lion ran away after he made loud noises to deter it. "I roared back twice, and it just took off, ran up the trail," he said.
How to keep yourself safe
It's very rare for mountain lions to attack people, but there are some important steps you can take to keep yourself safe.
First of all, be mindful and aware if you're travelling in an area where mountain lions are known to live. This isn't the time to test your best running headphones – keep your eyes and ears open, particularly in the early morning and late evening when the big cats are likely to be hunting.
If you do come across a mountain lion, back away slowly so you can keep track of its location, and don't make any sudden movements that could startle it. Don't run, as this could trigger its instinct to chase you. Raising your arms to make yourself look bigger can also be a useful tactic. Avoid bending down or crouching so you aren't mistaken for a smaller prey animal.
For more advice, see our guide what to do if you meet a mountain lion on the trail.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.