A jogger named Kyle Burgess got the scare of a lifetime when he accidentally stumbled upon mountain lion cubs whose mother did not appreciate his presence.
The 26-year-old was running up Slate Canyon in Provo, Utah, last Saturday evening when he saw small animals scampering across the trail, according to the Deseret News. Mistaking them for bobcats, Burgess pulled out his phone to record the cute critters—only to realize that they were mountain lion cubs, and that their full-grown mother was now emerging from the woods to protect them.
Burgess continued filming as the large cat began to trail him, occasionally lunging, hissing, and baring her teeth. He later uploaded the footage to Instagram TV, where it racked up over one million views.
Burgess explained how his awe turned to horror when he realized what was going on, reports Fox 13 News. “I didn’t really know what kind of cubs they were or what animal they were…Once I did realize what they were, I was like, that’s mom right there. I’m screwed.”
The unfortunate jogger explained that he knew he shouldn’t turn his back on the cougar, so he did his best to scare her away by cussing, screaming, and growling. “Okay, this is when I f—king die,” he says at one point. “Come on, dude. I don’t feel like dying today.”
“Go away. I’m big and scary!” he yells.
After nearly six minutes, Burgess picks up a rock and lobs it at the protective mother, hitting her. She turns tail and runs back to her cubs. “Holy cow. Yeah, not going back that way,” says the shaken jogger, turning the camera back on himself.
Fox 13 News writes that Burgess did the right thing in that he tried to make himself bigger, made a ton of noise, and never turned his back on the cougar.
As the adage goes: Don’t ever come between a mother and her children.