This story definitely falls under the category "don't try this at home." Not that you would ever be likely to meet a mountain lion at your home, but you get the idea. For one woman in Colorado the meeting happened while hiking and you won't believe what she did to keep the big cat from attacking her. She must have really hit the right note.
Kyra Kopenstonsky was outside of Placerville, Colorado, hiking on a trail in Down Valley Park earlier this month when she caught the eye of a mountain lion. It tracked her for about 20 minutes, occasionally jumping in front of her, most likely trying to startle her into taking off. Instead she brandished a branch to make herself look larger. The mountain lion was not fazed by this tactic and Kopenstonsky had to think of something else.
Fortunately her cell phone had a signal and in between these scary pounces she had the presence of mind to call her roommate. In turn the roommate contacted the San Miguel Count Sheriff's Office to relate her tale and her location. Her mind must have been working on over-drive because the next thing she did astonished even her.
She began to sing. As loud as she could manage she began to sing opera. At first the mountain lion put its ears back and backed away. Then it came at her again, still puzzled by the noise. While it didn't completely deter the cat, it did give her time to start backing down the trail. Yes, back down. For those who don't know about big cats, turning your back on them is their signal to pounce and make short work of you. So she kept singing and backing down the steep trail.
She was met by two sheriff's deputies as she emerged from the trailhead. They were thankful to find her badly shaken, but otherwise unhurt. According to Sheriff William Masters she had obviously learned what to do in this situation before hiking. Kopenstonsky said that she had no clue as to where the idea to sing had come from.
I don't know about you, but if I were any wild animal and heard someone sing opera I would be stopped from attacking too. Of course, if I was being attacked and I tried singing I would get the only mountain lion in Colorado that appreciates opera.
Images via Wikimedia