REPORT: Cyclist Gets In Standoff With Mountain Lion, Police With ‘Long Guns’ Called In To Help

Not the mountain lion from the story. (Credit: Shutterstock/moosehenderson)

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A man named Rex Hatter who was mountain biking Saturday in San Luis Obispo, California, encountered a mountain lion, The Modesto Bee reported.

Hatter was riding through the Irish Hills Natural Reserve on Saturday, traveling from the Johnson Trail connector to the Froom Creek Trail, when he said a hiker waved at him. The hiker told him that she had just seen a mountain lion, Hatter said, according to The Modesto Bee.

Hatter, who was on the phone with his father, said he walked the hiker off the trail, and then cycled up the mountain to return to his car, which was four or five miles south, according to the Modesto Bee. Roughly 90 seconds later, Hatter heard loud noises near the trail.

“I looked over and I saw this cat run toward me,” Hatter said.

Hatter told the Modesto Bee that he did not run away because that would provoke the cougar’s instinct to chase him. Instead, he jumped off his bike, put it between himself and the cat, and screamed.

“I was afraid to turn my back on him, and I was thinking the last thing I want to do is lose sight of him, because then I’ll be out here in the world just wondering where he is, giving a chance to sneak up on me,” Hatter said. (RELATED: REPORT: Mountain Lion Stalks Little Kids, Dog Sacrifices Its Life While Family Watches From Inside)

Hatter, who has been a mountain biker for over 30 years, then raised his bike over his head and made himself large. The mountain lion retreated and Hatter dialed 911.

Police officers carrying “long guns” arrived, according to the Modesto Bee. As they escorted Hatter from the trail, they made loud noises and kept eye contact with the mountain lion until they left.

The San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department announced it is temporarily closing the Irish Hills Natural Reserve and Johnson Ranch open spaces because of several mountain lion sightings in the area.