A Northern California hiker and his mother faced a harrowing moment recently when they were stalked by a mountain lion on a trail in the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma County.
The hiker, known on Instagram as Wild Wild Rocks, shared a chilling account of the encounter that quickly escalated into a potential life-or-death situation:
The incident unfolded when the hiker heard a twig snap and turned to see a full-grown cougar lunging towards them from the brush. Recounting the encounter, he wrote, “I didn’t really have time to think. It was fight, flight, or freeze. It all happened so fast, but I reacted without haste. Arms up, primal yell and quickly advanced towards the cat.”
The hiker’s quick thinking and defensive actions potentially saved him and his mother from serious harm. “Mom and I just got charged by a mountain lion. He’s still watching us,” he said in the video as the camera zooms in on the cougar perched on a grassy hill above.
While mountain lion attacks are extremely rare, with these majestic creatures generally preferring to avoid human interaction, this encounter is a stark reminder of the unpredictability of wildlife. In such situations, experts advise against running, recommending instead to make oneself as large as possible, yell, and throw objects to scare the animal away. In the unlikely event of an attack, fighting back is advised.