Hiker comes face to face with cougar

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 9:13 AM EDT

MILL CREEK, UTAH (KUTV) - A Utah man had a terrifying confrontation with a cougar Monday while hiking a trail, and he captured it all on camera.

“I saw it off about 10 feet in the bushes,” hiker Garrett Foster said. “It just jumped out at me.”

Foster said the cougar was about two feet from him.

“She jumped. Not jumped towards me, but like hurled herself towards me and was like ‘roar!’’” he said.

Foster said it was “surreal.”

“You’re by yourself in a canyon with a mountain lion. They can run up to like 50 miles an hour,” he said.

Just three days before this incident, Foster had spotted a cougar for the first time in his life. It did not come close, but it made him a little more prepared this time around.

“I picked up a rock, and I had a knife out just in case something happened. But I roared back twice, and it just took off, ran up the trail,” he said.

After two sightings in just three days, Foster said he might avoid Mill Creek Canyon for a bit, but he will be back. For now, he has some advice for anyone going out for a hike.

“Just being alert, knowing that you’re out there with some kind of wildlife at any given time even if you don’t see it, so yeah. Just be alert,” he said.

The Utah Division of Wildlife has some more advice.

If you encounter a cougar, do not run from it because it could trigger their instincts to chase. Instead, try and make yourself bigger by raising your arms and talking firmly in a loud voice while backing away slowly.

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