Yep, this is an absolute nightmare.
According to 2KUTV, 70-year-old Evan Ray Nilsen was hiking last Thursday, enjoying the beautiful views of the Diamond Fork area in Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah, when the beautiful stroll through nature turned into a near death experience.
While hiking, he was surprise attacked by a mountain lion, after it jumped onto him from out of nowhere.
Nilsen told the outlet:
“A mountain lion hit me right on the side, knocked me down the hill. I kind of hunched up or folded up, and it comes down around behind me. And I hit it with a rock – just with my hand with a rock – and it took off.”
The injuries were significant enough where he needed to go to the hospital to get treated.
His arms were bandaged up from where the mountain lion cut him with its claws. He added that he got tetanus and rabies shots while at the hospital just to make sure, and he also said he suffered whiplash from falling down.
“I’m feeling alright. I’m feeling okay. Just shock. Let me tell you, it was a shock and a half.”
Scott Root, who is a conservation manager with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said that they went on an extensive search for the mountain lion, but came up with nothing:
“Typically, we are able to have hounds locate a mountain lion if something has happened recently in an area.
We do have mountain lions that may be lower in elevation. With all this deep snow, we had all the big game down lower, and so that probably brought a few lions down lower too because of the deep snow.
But now they should start working their way right back up the mountain because of the green-up season and the snow’s melting off.”
Root also noted that you should always be prepared for an attack like this while hiking, by carrying bear spray, hiking in groups, stay away from low-light hours when other species are more active, and do not wear headphones.
He also said to make loud noises if a mountain lion poses a threat, and to fight back if it does end up attacking you.
And as far as Nilsen’s situation goes, he admitted it was just bad timing, and he’s just thankful to be alive:
“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess.”