Well, you can go ahead and put “coming face to face with a mountain lion out in the wilderness” at the top of my new biggest fears list.
Coming into contact with any wild animal out in nature can be bad news, but it seems as though trying to battle a big cat would be one of the most terrifying.
If you come across a bear, you are supposed to act “big” by raising your arms and speaking in a low-pitched voice. If there’s an alligator trying to get you, I’ve always heard that running in a zig-zag pattern can help you get away (I hope I never have to test that theory out).
With a mountain lion, or any other type of wild cat, you are just supposed to back away slowly and maintain eye contact.
I’m guessing that’s so you can see the mountain lion pounce on your face, and the walking backwards part is so you are closer to the hiking trail entrance when the paramedics find you.
This woman chose a different strategy, which I guess technically worked, though I don’t know if I would advise it. As she stood in the snow covered woods, she noticed a mountain lion was climbing up towards her, and froze.
The woman couldn’t help but cry, knowing that she was in danger and her last moments could be spent staring a big cat right in the eyes. Luckily for her, it seems as though as the mountain lion was more occupied with running away from some dogs that were chasing it.
When the mountain lion comes to a stop and sees the woman, it looks right at her and gives off a menacing hiss. That’s about as bad as it gets for the woman though, because right after that, the big cat keeps moving, and even effortlessly climbs up some trees that are nearby.
And here’s the kicker, she was LOOKING for a mountain lion.
Here’s her explanation:
“My husband and I went to track mountain lions and had been hiking over a mile in the woods in Montana.
The numerous deadfall trees caused me to be behind, so my husband went ahead of me. I was continuing to try to catch up, when I noticed the mountain lion at the bottom of a ravine, slowly creeping. I grabbed my camera to capture the moment, and as soon as I started recording, the mountain lion switched directions and headed up the mountainside toward me.
I just froze as it continued in my direction. The mountain lion finally sees me, about 15 feet away from where I was standing. It then hissed at me and after a few seconds (which felt like minutes) it changed direction and ran down the hill away from me. It shortly thereafter climbed a tree across the ravine from where I was standing.”
Climbed a tree like he couldn’t get up there? In all honesty, the big cat was way more preoccupied with getting away from the dogs than it was hunting this woman. She probably wasn’t in much danger at all with those dogs hot on its tail.
Nevertheless, it was undoubtedly a close call for the woman, and a frightening one, even though the mountain lion was never really worried about her all that much (definitely not as much as she was worried about it).