Two hikers in California got the shock of their lives when they recently came face-to-face with a mountain lion.
Brian McKinney and Sam Vonderheide were on the High Sierra Trail on July 23 in Sequoia National Park when they locked eyes with the beast as it stood stoic on the mountain.
The hikers, who recorded the incident, contemplated what to do. One wanted to run away, but the ferocious cat looked like it was ready to pounce.
At the end of the clip, they can be seen slowly backing away from the beast.
If faced with a similar situation, one expert says you never want to run.
Tom Stalf, president of the Columbus Zoo and expert on mountain lions, advises anyone in a scary situation like what McKinney and Vonderheide experienced to make a loud noise and slowly back away.
"Once the hikers got around the corner and see that the mountain lion was right above them, that is when they needed to back away and clap real loud," he advised.
“I wasn’t super scared until I rounded the corner and saw that the cat wasn’t only there but above us on the trail,” McKinney told Inside Edition.
“I think you can hear in the video, I ask my buddy, Sam — I’m sure it sounds kind of silly — 'What are we supposed to do?' My instinct was to get out of there and frankly to run, and I knew that was not the right response to a cat,” he added.
The friends say they're lucky they made the right call in the drama of the moment.
“We didn’t want to turn our back to it and we didn’t want to move quickly. We were trying to remain very calm. We did the right thing,” Vonderheide added.