Terrifying Video Shows Moment Hiker Realizes He's Being Watched by Cougar

A resurfaced viral video shows the chilling moment that a hiker realized he was being watched by a cougar that was camouflaged in a tree.

The clip was first shared by Matt Galland in 2021, but it was recently posted to the Reddit forum "Nature Is F**king Lit" where it amassed more than 100,000 votes.

"The camouflage of an apex predator," read the title of the post, which was shared by u/SnooCupcakes8607 on Thursday.

According to the National Park Service, when someone encounters a cougar—also known as a mountain lion—they should avoid a confrontation and give the animal room to escape.

Hiker Spots Cougar In Trees
A resurfaced viral video shows the moment that a man spots a cougar looking at him in the trees. SandmanXX/iStock

Rather than running away, which could provoke the cougar to chase, the individual should stand and face the animal. They should avoid crouching down or bending over and do as much as possible to appear larger.

"Throw stones, branches or whatever you can without crouching or turning your back," the agency stated. "Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it."

In the video, the camera is focused on Galland's face as he looks out at trees off-camera.

His face quickly dropped and he turned the camera around to show viewers what gave him the reaction.

At first glance, viewers can only make out tall trees. But, when the camera zooms in, the cougar becomes much more visible.

It stares back into the camera as it remained nestled in the tree branches before the video ended.

The footage left many viewers stunned.

"Got to admire mountain lions," a Redditor wrote. "They say they could be living in your backyard and it's possible to go your entire life without seeing them. For an animal to be that stealthy and that lethal is impressive."

Another viewer was impressed that Galland was able to see the cougar when it was high up in the trees.

"They're pretty terrifying," one commented. "If there's a black bear in the neighborhood you figure it out pretty quick and, in my experience, there's basically 'don't mess with me and I won't mess with you.' With a mountain lion, they're almost always the one deciding not to mess with you."

The video even prompted viewers to share their own experiences with coming across a cougar.

One Redditor, for example, wrote that they saw one in Utah as it ran across a road and up a mountain.

"My friend from Israel was in town and it blew both of our minds," they wrote.

These types of sightings have happened to others, some of whom posted their own videos.

Another video showed the face-off that took place between a woman's small dog and a mountain lion through a glass door.

One woman posted a video that showed her realizing she was close to a cougar cub and its mother.

Officials responded to a report of a mountain lion eating a chicken from a California homeowner's coop in their backyard.