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Man Escapes Cougar: 'Dude, I Don't Feel Like Dying Today'

Twenty-six-year-old Kyle Burgess was on a 10-mile run on Saturday up Slate Canyon in Provo, Utah. He told the Deseret News that when he saw four cougar cubs on the trail, he took out his phone and started filming.

But when Burgess saw the young animals' mother come along, he knew he was in trouble. For the next six minutes, he recorded their encounter.

The mother cougar followed him — hissing, growling and threatening — as Burgess backed away, keeping his eyes locked on her. Mostly, he alternated between yelling a stream of profanities at the mother mountain lion and calling the animal "dude."

"Dude, you're scary!" Burgess tells the animal at one point, adding: "You're a (bleep) scary kitty cat." A few minutes later, after she repeatedly lunges in Burgess' direction, he says, "Come on, dude, I don't feel like dying today."

Amazingly, Burgess came away totally unharmed after he picked up a rock and hurled it at her. According to the Deseret News, a local official with Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources, Scott Root, told Burgess: "You did awesome." But, Root added, people should consider not running alone on trails.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.