A man in Utah faced a terrifying ordeal after stumbling into a mountain lion family, only for the mother cougar to stalk him for six minutes as he captured the terrifying scene on video.
Kyle Burgess, 26, was running near his home along the Slate Canyon trail near Provo when he encountered a group of wild kittens, reports Deseret News.
Believing that these were bobcat cubs – a common sight in the area – Burgess began recording the small creatures. Moments later, their mother appeared and he realized that these were mountain lion cubs and their extremely protective mother.
Burgess was then thrust into possibly the scariest moment of his life as the mature female mountain lion began to charge at him.
His fear was obvious based on the audio from the scary encounter, where he can be heard screaming at the mountain lion as it stalked him through the tree-lined, rocky path.
“No! No! I’m big and scary! Go away!” Burgess yelled.
“You’re good!” Burgess continued as she continued following him. “You’re good little kitty cat. … Nice and slow. Come on.”
Three minutes into the ordeal, the cougar began growing more aggressive as it began hissing, growling and lunging at Burgess, swishing her tail and flashing her teeth menacingly.
“OK, this is when I f**king die,” he says. “Come on, dude. I don’t feel like dying today.”
Burgess then began screaming back, cursing and growing at the creature while continuing to slowly back away as he continued to face the big cat.
“This is scary, my heart is racing,” Burgess said.
After about 6 minutes of being chased by the cougar, Burgess quickly kneeled down to grab a rock and toss it directly at her, causing the large cat to quickly turn tail and run back to her cubs.
Despite the gut-wrenching emotions Burgess felt, he was also awestruck by how “beautiful” the over-protective mother was despite being powerful and “scary.”
Fortunately, the young hiker managed to escape without so much a scratch from the aggressive cougar.
“Wow, that just happened,” Burgess remembered thinking after the cat escaped. “Honestly right now it still feels like a dream.”
“My emotions were a jumbled mess,” he continued. “So it was kind of like … ‘K, well this is going one of two ways. What’s the outcome going to be?’”
Burgess has now been thrust in the position of being the subject of viral attention after his six-minute video went live on Instagram and quickly spread across social media platforms.
Predictably, social media users have assailed the young man for intruding on the cougars home or yelling at the large cat. However, knowledgeable hikers and outdoorspeople have hailed his actions as an exemplary way of responding to the threat.
Scott Root, a conservation outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said Burgess’ actions were awesome. The official met Burgess on Monday as DWR officers arrived in the area to locate the mountain lions, who appear to have moved on.
“He backed away. He didn’t go toward the mountain lion or her kittens. He made a lot of noise,” Root said. “He stayed large, he stayed loud and he backed away from the area for quite a while. I think he did everything really well.”
If anything, hikers might want to carry bear spray and bring a friend for similar trail runs. Burgess did well otherwise, Root said.
“In that situation, with that mother mountain lion who’s being very protective, as you can tell, I would not take my eyes off of her and I wouldn’t bend down,” he added. “You want to remain large and you want to remain making a lot of noise. And that’s what he did.”
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Heat Wave Kills Over 1 BILLION Sea Creatures on Canada West Coast, Experts Say
Researchers in Canada are reporting that over 1 billion marine animals on Canada’s Pacific coast are likely to have died in last week’s record-shattering heat wave, showing how ecosystems not accustomed to such high temperatures are especially vulnerable to changing conditions.
The deadly “heat dome” that settled over British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest for five days is believed to have killed at least 500 people in Canada, and pushed temperatures to extreme temperatures of 104F (40C), sparking wildfires that are burning across the Canadian province.
Multiple experts are now saying that the heat wave also took a horrifying toll on marine life, leaving “postapocalyptic” scenes in its wake.
Marine biologist Christopher Harley of the University of British Columbia knew, when he saw the harrowing weather forecasts, that when the tide dropped the sweltering conditions would absolutely fry the mussels, barnacles and sea stars that were exposed.
When the heatwave actually struck, he was devastated by the stench of decay and the vast death toll sustained by the local ecosystem.
“The shore doesn’t usually crunch when you walk on it,” he told The Guardian. “But there were so many empty mussel shells lying everywhere that you just couldn’t avoid stepping on dead animals while walking around.”
Mussels and barnacles can typical deal with harsh temperatures as high as 113F for a few hours – but any more than that is simply not survivable.
Harley told the New York Times that the loss of mussels likely reaches into the hundreds of millions.
However, when factoring in the death of other marine animals that once lived on the shore and resided on the mussel beds – such as hermit crabs and their crustacean relatives, worms, sea cucumbers and other creatures – the number could quite easily exceed one billion.
“It just feels like one of those postapocalyptic movies,” Harley said.
Harley’s colleagues have also reported on dead sea anemones, rock fish and oysters in the region.
In neighboring Alberta, a massive number of fish also washed up on the shores, likely due to the heat wave.
Fortunately, mussels are able to regenerate over about two years. Starfish and clams, however, live for decades and reproduce much more slowly.
The domino effect of such a vast loss of marine life could be felt on other animals in the ecosystem such as sea ducks, a migratory bird that feeds on mussels in the winter before migrating to the Arctic.
The horrific loss shows that the pace of warming climate conditions is likely outstripping the ability of creatures simply to survive – a prospect that makes Harley feel saddened, but he is still trying to find hope.
“A lot of species are not going to be able to keep up with the pace of change,” he said. “Ecosystems are going to change in ways that are really difficult to predict. We don’t know where the tipping points are.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.