Kyle Burgess' evening run at Slate Canyon Trail in Utah ended up being unforgettable. Not just for him, but for anyone who's watched the harrowing six-minute video of him fearing for his life as an aggressive cougar stalks him down a trail.
It all started Saturday when Burgess stumbled upon some cubs he thought were bobcats.
"Bobcats are, from what I've experienced in the past, they're very mellow animals. They kind of see you and they just kind of walk away so that's kind of what I thought was going to happen," Burgess told USA TODAY.
He was wrong.
As the 26-year-old began to record the cubs on his cell phone, "I saw mama cougar and she just bolted straight towards me," he said.
Burgess, who now calls himself "the cougar guy" after his video went viral last weekend, recorded the cougar who followed and charged him several times.
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"Go away!" Burgess yells in the video as backs away from the cougar.
"I've never had this type of encounter before," Burgess said. "Growing up here in Utah, I've always been around the mountains and kind of always been taught when you come encounter with these big animals, you got to make yourself look bigger. You have to make yourself be big and scary as I say in the video."
Burgess said he felt a huge relief when the cougar finally backed away.
"It was just more a sense of like excitement that she's going away. Like, yes, thank you, go away because those six minutes of the video lasting was so long," he said.
After waiting 30 minutes - a tip that his father-in-law, who is a hunter, recommended him to do - Burgess headed back down the trail with a stick in one hand and a rock in the other. Just in case the mama cougar popped out at him again.
The Humane Society of the U.S. recommends people to not run if they encounter a cougar as it can provoke the animal. Instead, people should directly face the cougar and not stare them directly in the eyes but at their feet, make loud noises and try to appear larger. If there are cubs, the organization recommends not coming between them and their mother.
While it was a frightening experience, Burgess said he will continue to hike at Slate Canyon Trail. He's already been back a few times to do interviews with local outlets.
"It's kind of just like one of those things, like, you fall, you get back up. So it's kind of that same principle," he said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Utah hiker followed by cougar for nearly six minutes