Hiker says opera scared off mountain lion

Kyra Kopestonsky had a close encounter with a mountain lion in Down Valley Park, Colorado, and singing might have saved her life. The Ohio native moved to Placerville a year and a half ago because she enjoyed hiking area trails.

“I thought it was really beautiful,” Kopestonsky said in an interview with 9NEWS. “I [had] never seen a mountain lion.” Kopestonsky said that all changed when she hiked 10 minutes off the main trail in Down Valley Park and heard a twig snap.

“I just sort of caught a glimpse of brown out of the corner of my eye and thought ‘oh there’s an animal here,'” Kopestonsky said. “I turned around and looked, and then [the mountain lion] was just standing there between 10 and 15 feet away from me.”

“I would back up and it would creep forward, so I’d stop. Eventually it sort of crouched down, like part way,” Kopestonsky said. “So, I started backing down the mountain, which was really steep. And then it got up and walked toward me. At the closest point, it was eight feet away.”

Finally, she decided to try something different.

“I don’t know why, I just started singing opera really loud,” Koestonsky said. “It kind of put its ears down and just kept looking at me, and it sort of backed away. Then, it came around the bushes an came towards me again and crouched about 10 feet away.” Kopestonsky believes the predator eventually left her alone because it lost interest.

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