UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Two hikers in California are counting themselves lucky to be alive after coming face-to-face with an apex predator.
Video taken last month by Brian McKinney and Sam Vonderheide shows the moment they come upon a mountain lion.
The animal is seen trotting off, and the men continue walking.
They round a bend, and the cat seems to have disappeared. But then the camera pans up and — boom. Crouched just feet over their heads is the mountain lion, and it’s staring right at them.
The hikers slowly backed away.
They later told The Los Angeles Times they tried to scare the cat away by shouting and throwing rocks, but it wouldn’t budge.
So they retraced their steps and spent a sleepless night in a tent worrying about being attacked. They hiked through the spot the next day and only saw tracks.
Wildlife experts praised the hikers for surviving the encounter by not acting like prey and staying calm.