When you go hiking, you would expect breathe the fresh air, enjoy strolling along the pathways and just loving mother nature. However, two hikers in California's Sequoia's National Park made a heart-thumping discovery. A fully grown mountain lion, ahead in their path.
The two hikers were filming the dirt path, whilst the lion suddenly appeared in front of them.
Following the lion cautiously, they sneaked forward, trying to get a glimpse, however it went slinking around a hillside and out of sight.
One of them said "shh, ssh", worried that the lion would spot them. After walking slowly towards the pathway, the camera slowly panned towards up a rocky ledge, where the lion were gazing at the hikers. Motionless and its eyes fixed on the hikers.
"I don't like this", one of the hiker's whispered.
Heavy breathing follows.
One of them asks, "Are we supposed to backup?"
“I don’t know, I don’t think you’re supposed to run or go away from it,” the other responds.
Without any further delay, they start to inch away. Luckily, the mountain lion can be seen, still peering at the hikers and craning its neck.
Hiking partners Brian McKinney and Sam Vonderheide told the Los Angeles Times that they were unable to scare off the animal and were frozen for 15 minutes in a heart-stopping standoff with the beast. They had to eventually give up and head back, not knowing what could happen if they had encountered it again.
They tried to scare the lion away by shouting, blowing a whistle, throwing rocks and sticks. However, the lion was unfazed.
“She just looked at us like she was entertained,” McKinney told the Associated Press. “So we gave up.”
When they were headed back to the campsite, the thought of the lion appearing again haunted them the whole way.
Fearing for their lives, they made farewell videos for their loved ones. “It’s definitely a reminder to keep your cool, when everything is jumping inside you,” Vonderheide told the Times.
Wildlife biologist Daniel Gammons applauded the hikers for staying calm during the encounter.
“The big thing these visitors did right was that they didn’t panic and run,” Gammons said in a statement. “Probably the most important message to get out to visitors is not to act like prey if they encounter a mountain lion.”