This was way too close for comfort.
A Utah man was forced to open fire on a mountain lion with his handgun in a tense confrontation he recorded on video Oct. 9.
In the video, originally uploaded on Instagram on Monday, the man engages in a standoff with the dangerous animal.
John Erickson (the Instagram post gives his first name as Jared) was hunting elk in Idaho during the fateful interaction with the big cat, according to the Field and Stream.
Erickson holds a semiautomatic pistol at the ready in the footage, his breathing labored with fear as he urges the dangerous animal to back away.
All the while, the hunter records the stalking cat on his phone — capturing an interaction most people would be far too terrified to record for posterity.
When the beast leaps towards him, Erickson fires a single shot at the creature — enough to stop the attack, but insufficient to get the mountain lion off of his trail.
The lion lurks nearby afterward, only beginning to slink away after a second, follow-up shot.
Neither of the gunshots seem to have hit the mountain lion, which moved seemingly uninjured.
Fortunately, the mountain lion got the message. The two shots proved enough to scare the animal away.
Erickson expressed his good fortune to be carrying a handgun in the caption of the Instagram post.
“Not what I expected going elk hunting. Good [thing] I was packin!”
A mountain lion is not an animal to be treated as a pet or mere wildlife scenery.
The big cats can act aggressively toward humans. A Northern California woman was badly injured in a mountain lion attack in May, escaping death when her dog intervened to save her life.
In some instances, authorities have been forced to cull the predators after they’ve been seen eating human remains.
However, the big cats don’t attack humans with frequency. The Mountain Lion Foundation indicates that human interactions with the cats are rare, and that the chance of an actual attack is infinitely small.
The big cats pose a greater danger to pets in rural areas where they live, according to the nonprofit.
In Erikson’s case, wildlife experts speculated that the mountain lion might have been protecting nearby kittens or a cached kill, according to Field and Stream.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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