A 45 year old Vancouver woman named Dee Gallant took an evening walk on July 23 accompanied by her 8-year-old husky retriever named Murphy that turned out to be a lot scarier than she anticipated.
About a mile into their hike outside Duncan, British Columbia, she said she began to feel like "something was watching" them. That fear became reality when she spotted a cougar 50 feet in front of them. Gallant says she didn't even recognize the animal at first.
“I looked over to the right and there it was, I couldn’t make it out at first and thought, ‘Oh that is a strange color, that’s not a tree,'” she said. "Initially I wasn't that scared, I remember thinking, 'Cool, that's a cougar,' and then it was, 'Why is it still there?' before turning into 'Oh my god, it's coming toward me, I need to make it stop."
Hoping to scare the cougar off, Gallant waved her arms and yelled, 'Hey, you, stop!' at the animal. The cougar froze, but its eyes followed her and her companion Murphy. Gallant took out her phone and began to record the encounter yelling "Get out of here" and "bad kitty".
“It didn’t respond to that either. It just stayed locked on to me and seemed really interested, so that is when I decided to stop recording and try to do something else," she said. She opened her phone's and searched through her music library for a track she felt would sound the most threatening.
She settled on "Don't Tread On Me" by Metallica and turned the music up to full volume and let the song play. "I immediately put it on and I held it up high in the air," Gallant said. "As soon as he heard the first note, he bolted. He was just gone."
"I thought it was perfect because it gives him the message that I want to send, and it's a really intimidating-sounding song."
The encounter only lasted about five minutes. Seeing how the song worked so well to scare off the cougar, she played the song for the rest of her hike back until they made it to safety.
"I would love to contact them someday and tell James Hetfield [Metallica's lead singer] that he saved my life," she laughed.
Her wish was granted after chatting with her "buddy James" on Friday. Gallant was contacted by the heavy-metal band’s artist liaison early on Friday morning, then called by James Hetfield later that afternoon. She thanked the legendary heavy metal band Metallica for saving her life, and James even sent her a selfie to prove it was really him.
Comment below and tell us: Do you have 'Don't Tread on Me' on your phone?
What song would you use to scare off a cougar?