Watch a Cougar Stalk a Woman Camping in the Woods by Herself

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 20, 2023
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Key Points

  • The woman tried to throw rocks and yell at the cougar to get it to leave, but these tactics didn’t work. Eventually, the predator left of its own accord.
  • Mountain lions rarely see humans as prey; this cougar likely did not intend to try to attack this woman.
  • There have been a few accounts of cougars attacking and even killing humans, but they are far and few in between. Researchers believe a cougar will only prey on a human if it is starving and desperate.

When you hear about a woman being stalked in the woods, your mind may jump to a crime drama or a suspense novel, but this is a nature video! It documents (in Story #2) what happens when a lone female camper spots that she is not actually alone!

Stalker at the Camping Site

This lady is on a solo adventure in the woods in Saguaro National Park, Arizona and looks as if she has just set up camp. As we join the action in the video, the hiker has just spotted a cougar in the trees above her campsite. She records what happens next and explains that she suspected that a predator was near from the way some deer were acting. They must have sensed the presence of a predator.

This hiker did not like the thought of sharing her camping space with the cougar so she tried to scare it off by making a variety of noises. That did not work! So, she had a go at throwing stones at it. Then she tries throwing stones and yelling at the same time. Nothing worked!

Finally, the inquisitive cougar gets bored and leaves of its own accord.

All About Cougars

Mountain lion standing on thick tree branch



attacks on humans are rare but have been recorded

©Geoffrey Kuchera/

Cougars are also called pumas, panthers, and mountain lions. They are the second largest cat in North America (they can be up to nine feet long) and have round heads and pointed ears – their body shape is very similar to house cats but larger. These guys like to live alone (they sometimes form loose social connections) but are fantastic hunters. They tend to target deer and raccoons but have been known to take on crocodiles.

So, was this lady justified in being so concerned? There are very few recorded cougar attacks on humans but it can happen. One report from 2018 describes how a cougar stalked two mountain bikers in the Cascade Mountains and went on to kill one of them. Wildlife experts suggested that as the animal was emaciated it was probably sick or desperate or both and that would make it behave in ways that it normally would not. Also, a fast-moving mountain bike is going to seem like fleeing prey to a hungry predator. Luckily for this woman, the cougar in this clip did not see her as prey and decided to leave her alone.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Evgeniyqw/

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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