Cougar Relentlessly Stalks Utah Runner, Hissing in Terrifying Video

While running in Provo, Utah, a jogging enthusiast named Kyle Burgess was stalked for six minutes by a cougar, and he captured video of the animal trailing him, occasionally pouncing forward as if to attack.

The incident occurred on Saturday around 5 p.m. local time while the 26-year-old man was running two miles up Slate Canyon. Near the end of his run, he saw four young cougar kittens scampering on the trail. He began recording them until their full-grown mother emerged from the woods.

"I didn't really know what kind of cubs they were or what animal they were," Burgess told Fox 13 News. "Once I did realize what they were, I was like, that's mom right there. I'm screwed."

The mother, protective of her kittens, began to trail Burgess. He began recording as she tracked closely behind him, occasionally lunging at him: bearing her claws, showing her fangs, her ears pulled back and hind legs kicking up dust.

He knew it would be unwise to turn his back on an animal predator, lest it mistake him for fearful prey and pounce. To scare her away, he tried growling, hissing, screaming and swearing, but every time he bent down to grab a rock to throw at her, she lunged forward.

"Okay, this is when I f*cking die," he said in his video as the cat calmly trailed behind him, her eyes fixed on him. "Come on, dude. I don't feel like dying today."

"My emotions were a jumbled mess," Burgess told The Deseret News. "So it was kind of like ... 'K, well this is going one of two ways. What's the outcome going to be?'"

After being trailed for nearly six minutes, Burgess was eventually able to grab a rock and throw it at the cougar, hitting it. The animal scampered off and Burgess ended the ordeal without so much as a scratch.

Kyle Burgess Provo Utah cougar stalking jogger
For six minutes, a cougar stalked a hiking enthusiast on a trail in Provo, Utah. The hiker, Kyle Burgess, captured the animal following him on video. SandmanXX/Getty

Scott Root, conservation outreach manager for Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources told Deseret News that cougars typically prefer to stay hidden. Root added that when he and his team searched the trail for traces of the cougar and her kittens, they seemed to have moved on.

While Root called Burgess' encounter a "once in a lifetime" occurrence, all the same, he suggested that joggers avoid the trail during dawn and dusk, when cougars are most active. He also suggested that joggers run with a friend and carry bear repellant as a means of defense if approached by a cougar.

Burgess' encounter isn't the first time that a wild animal has attacked a jogger. In late September, officials at a North Carolina Marine base suggested that its joggers avoid a certain creek trail after dark following four nighttime attacks by coyotes.

The sailors were bitten on the legs. Coyotes are largely carnivorous, and while they're mostly dangerous to housepets and livestock, they have killed humans in the past, including a female hiker and a young girl playing in her front yard.