A man in California turned the tables in a recent close call with a young mountain lion. Twenty-one-year-old Dutch Faro was jogging on a trail near Pyramid Lake, just outside of Los Angeles, on the afternoon of Saturday, January 8. He decided to pull out his phone and capture a short video of the scenery—and then a mountain lion appeared out of the brush—and it was coming right at him.
It took Faro a moment to register what was happening. At first, he seems to start jogging away from the big cat. Then he changes tactics. Faro stops, turns toward the lion, and lets out a hearty roar. And it works. The lion, which California Department of Fish and Wildlife carnivore researcher Justin Dellinger identified as a “subadult,” according to Backpacker, retreats and takes cover in a bush.
“I saw it in my peripheral vision. And then I tried to yell at it, nothing happened. And it was just about to jump and pounce on me and…I had primal instinct and roared at it,” Faro told KTLA5. “That was my last hope.”
Faro picked up a stick for protection and then returned to his vehicle at the trailhead. He says that the lion did not follow. Interactions with mountain lions are rare, and attacks on humans are even rarer. According to the National Park Service, “running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase.” The agency advises people to never try to run from a mountain lion during an attack and instead to to stand your ground and “do all you can to appear intimidating,” which is exactly what Faro did in this scary encounter.