A Utah woman was hunting on Saturday when she encountered a mountain lion. The woman caught the interaction on camera after the mountain lion briefly attacked her near Rush Valley in Tooele County.
Laurien Elsholz recounted the experience in a Facebook post that she smelled something dead when all of the sudden she heard a crashing noise before the mountain lion grabbed her leg.
“I was terrified. I went into shock and the adrenaline was very high,” Elsholz said. “I’m just happy that I made it out safe and that nothing else worse happened.”
In the post, Elsholz wrote that she eventually found a way out of the trees and the big cat finally ran off after following her for a little bit.
This encounter comes nearly two years after a man in Slate Canyon near Provo ran into a mountain lion and caught the experience on video as well.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports that population data trends show the number of cougars in Utah over the last couple of years have increased. Mountain lions have a harder time tracking their prey in the summertime and are most active in the winter because the weather gives them greater advantage, according to the National Park Service.
The National Park Service also says mountain lions typically stay away from people and attacks on humans are extremely rare. Though attacks are uncommon, cougars are found in the foothill and canyon areas of Utah.
“People are the most likely to encounter cougars in areas frequented by mule deer and during the early morning and at dusk, when cougars are most likely to be hunting,” Utah Division of Wildlife Resources game mammals coordinator Darren DeBloois told the Moab Times.