Utah woman stares at mountain lion after brief attack

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A Utah woman was hunting Saturday when a mountain lion came out of nowhere and briefly attacked her. She caught the tense interaction afterwards on camera.

Laurien Elsholz was near Rush Valley in Tooele County when this happened. She wrote in a facebook post He smelled something dead, then heard a rumbling noise before he felt the big cat grab his leg.

FULL VIDEO BELOW: Utah woman comes face to face with mountain lion

Full video: Utah woman comes face to face with mountain lion

Fortunately, he only suffered a bruise and a small cut from the encounter.

“It’s one of my worst fears in the woods. I never thought I’d have such a close encounter,” he told FOX 13 News.

Elsholz said he thinks the cougar was eating when he found it because it smelled so bad in the area.

The cougar backed away after Elsholz hit it with his cane, he said.

“I was terrified. I went into shock and the adrenaline was very high,” Elsholz said. “I’m happy I got out safely and nothing worse happened.”

LOOK: Orem man records a tense encounter with a mountain lion in Slate Canyon

Her friends were a little further away, and in the video she can be heard telling them that she was face to face with a mountain lion.

He said that he couldn’t back up once he found it because of the brush, and that he was trying to find a way to avoid turning his back on the cat.

Elsholz and her friends were able to escape the mountain lion, but she said it followed them for about a mile before turning around.

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READ: Facts about the big and ferocious cats of Utah

Wild Conscious Utah gives the following advice to stay safe in the country of the cougars:

Cougars’ primary prey is deer, so they will be found wherever there are deer. They will also eat moose, antelope, small mammals, and birds.


  • Don’t walk or jog alone.
  • Travel in groups and keep everyone together, including children and dogs.
  • Make noise as you walk to alert mountain lions to your presence.
  • Leave the area if you find a dead animal, especially a deer or elk, it could be a cougar kill. The cougar may return and defend its food.
  • Keep a clean camp. Store food and garbage in a locked, odorless container or hang it between two trees where mountain lions (and bears) can’t get to it.


  • Stop. Never run from a cougar. Don’t go near the cougar.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Pick up children and pets or keep them very close.
  • Stand tall.
  • Don’t bend over or squat.
  • Make yourself look bigger by raising and waving your arms or jacket above your head.
  • Speak firmly in a loud voice, back up slowly and leave the area.
  • Defend yourself if they attack you! Protect your head and neck.
  • If you’re aggressive enough, the cougar will probably run away.

If you have an encounter with aggressive wild animals, please notify the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources office near you. If the encounter or sighting occurs after hours or on the weekend, call your local police department or county sheriff’s office, who can contact a conservation officer to handle the situation.

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