Man ‘played chicken’ with a cougar in Olympic National Park, and won

·2 min read

Correction & clarification: A prior version of this story misidentified Bart Brown.

A fisherman returning from Lake Angeles in Olympic National Park in Washington encountered a mountain lion on the trail, and fortunately he had survival training for such an incident.

Bart Brown told KIRO 7 that “something just told me to look over my shoulder, and there was a cougar right there…on the edge of the trail.”

“She was about to attack me. I’m serious. I’m dead serious,” he told KIRO 7.

“It’s one of them life or death situations and I felt like I was going to die.

“Like I was prepared to die. I’m going to fight this cougar and I know I’m not going to win, you know. But I’m going to try.”

Jason Knight, owner of Alderleaf Wilderness College, told KIRO 7 that if a cougar isn’t running in the other direction to get away from you, “the appropriate response is to be aggressive towards it.”

Brown followed that advice.

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“It was going to be me or her, right?” Brown told KIRO 7. “And so I charged her. I charged the cougar.

“She gets down and she looks at me and I look at her, too…We’re in a death stare. I’m like, here we go. I muster the courage. I charged her again. We played chicken and I won. And she took off down the mountain.”

KIRO 7 has a short clip of the Aug. 20 encounter in its video report.

From the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare. In Washington state, the first fatal cougar attack on a human was reported in 1924. Since then, state authorities have recorded 19 other cougar-human encounters that resulted in a documented injury, including a second fatal attack in 2018.

Generic image of a cougar courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Story originally appeared on For The Win