How do you help a wounded animal that thinks you want to hurt it, and could tear you to shreds in a matter of seconds if it ever gets its paws on you?
Very, very carefully.
A heart-stopping video shows rescuers in Utah working to free a ticked-off mountain lion who got caught in a bobcat trap.
The rescue was captured on video by Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer Mark Ekins, who told KSL that most cougars can escape bobcat traps on their own without injury.
But from time to time, this happens.
Ekins admitted he was nervous during the rescue effort, and said that’s a good thing.
“If I wasn’t nervous or started to lack respect for the power of that animal, it could potentially be very dangerous,” Ekins told the station. “I’m nervous and I’m extremely careful when doing it… I’ve probably only done three in my career that were as big as the one you saw. That was a really big one.”
Not only does the cougar look intimidating, it also lets out a few angry snarls that sound like something out of a horror movie. (Hit the audio button in the gif below to hear.)
Ekins told KUTV that he and the other rescuer used “catch pulls” to immobilize the cougar. He said they could also use tranquilizers, but the catch pulls are “more humane and a lot safer.”
Once the cougar was held down, they put a blanket over it, released the trapped paw and stood back until the cat realized it was free to go. The mountain lion ran off with one of the catch pulls still attached, but dropped it not too far away.
Ekins told KUTV that the big cat had a cut on its paw but was otherwise fine.
Although the incident happened in December, the video was only recently posted online.