Kyle Burgess is a young man from Utah who sells knives for a living. As a lover of the great outdoors, he enjoyed a hike at Slate Canyon Loop Trail near Provo, Utah, this weekend. The trail is known to be quite stunning and features a river. Moderately trafficked, the looped trail is rated as difficult by AllTrails.
Burgess visited the trail often and went out on an early-evening jog. When he saw what he thought were wild kittens, he pulled out his phone and began recording.
Little did he know, there was a cougar lurking in the foliage nearby. As soon as he notices mama cougar, Burgess begins to back away. Actually, he takes off at full speed and shouts out some colorful language.
He growls and yells in an attempt to show the cougar how big and strong he is. Mama cougar is not afraid and shows him what she thinks of him being in her territory and around her cubs. "Your good little kitty cat," you can hear Burgess say at one point. "I'm big and scary, go away, go get your babies. I'm not going back there I promise".
In an interview with KSL , Burgess disclosed that he had watched YouTube videos previously about how to react in such a situation and on several occasions, tried to grab something to throw but the cougar leaped forward every time he tried.
It seems likely that the mama cougar was probably being protective of her kits. Officials said Burgess did all the right things by not turning around, making himself "bigger," and making a lot of noise. However, he should definitely carry a large rock or stick with you to act as a deterrent in the future.
“So yeah, that just happened … holy cow. Yeah, not going back that way,” Burgess says in the video, moments after the cougar finally leaves.
Burgess said he waited about half an hour before he walked back down the about 2 miles of the canyon. The encounter has given him a renewed respect for the power of cougars. He said he knows the cougar was just trying to protect her cubs.