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When hiking on a trail, it is expected you will come across animals. Perhaps animals such as deer, rabbits, and various birds. However, coming across a wild predator is something we don’t typically expect. And when we do, we have to be very cautious. As the territory we are on is not ours. And crossing into another animal’s territory is very dangerous, especially unannounced.
In the video below, we see a hiker in beautiful Utah hiking up a trail. We are, first of all, astounded at the sheer beauty of this trail and the surrounding foliage. The seasons are in full abundance, and we see the changing of the fall colors. As this man is on his hike, suddenly up aways, he sees a cougar emerge from the woods. This cougar is not surprised to see this man, as he has been likely stalking him and is now making his appearance.
The one mistake this hiker made that we can see from the very start of this video is that once he caught the view of this cougar, he started to walk toward it slowly. This most likely was seen as an act of aggression on the part of this cougar, which is why a mere second later, the cougar comes charging down this trail at incredible speeds.
While going toward the cougar at first was not wise, the actions this hiker takes next can be marked in the books as wise actions. The man backs up while continuously looking at the cougar and yelling out at it. If an animal is coming at you in anger, it is often best to make loud noises and make yourself seem large.
Is It Normal Behavior for a Cougar to Hunt Humans?
The short answer here is no. Cougars usually avoid people, what you see in the video is very rare.
Cougars are generally elusive creatures that tend to avoid human contact while primarily preying on deer and smaller animals. However, in areas where human and cougar territories intersect, they can exhibit aggression towards people, however, these kinds of incidents are exceedingly rare.
In the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, which are home to significant cougar populations, recorded history has seen just three human fatalities attributed to cougar attacks.
This remarkable scarcity of such encounters underscores the typically non-confrontational nature of these majestic big cats and highlights the importance of coexisting with these creatures in a peaceful way.
What to Do If an Aggressive Cougar Charges at You
According to the Humane Society of the United States, they have this to say about aggressive cougars: “If the cougar displays aggressive behavior try to appear larger — raise your arms or open your jacket over your head. Make noise by yelling, blowing a whistle, or an air horn.”
As we can see from this video, the hiker was yelling loudly because most aggressive animals that are chasing people expect one thing. They expect you to run in terror. And as we all know, we humans cannot outrun most predatory animals.
The Humane Society does quite emphatically state that humans should not approach cougars — which was the almost fatal mistake that this hiker made.
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