“I swear I thought I was going to be breakfast.”
Tara Bray couldn’t help but notice someone else on the trail as she made her way back down the mountain after a beautiful sunrise hike through Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.
When the lone hiker turned to look, there he was – a massive puma gazing directly at her.
In an Instagram post, Bray said, “I swear I thought I was going to be breakfast.”
The enormous cat proceeded on his morning walk, indifferent, after a fleeting glance of his trail companion. Bray was overjoyed.
“I was definitely scared and hoped it wouldn’t get any closer,” Bray told us. “I’m glad it just kept on going!”
Bray captured the shocking moment on video, which you can watch here:
An experienced outdoorswoman, Bray has seen lots of amazing wildlife while hiking, but had never seen anything like the puma.
“I hike a lot and I haven’t ever encountered an animal that big or that close!” Bray said.
Pumas are certainly a sight to behold — according to Live Science, an adult male can grow up to 8 feet long. Though Patagonia has the highest density of pumas on earth, the big cats are still hard to spot, since they prefer to avoid humans.
Though the experience still sends shivers down her spine, Bray is grateful to have seen such a majestic, powerful wild animal in his natural habitat, but she hopes it never happens again.
“I was just more surprised and terrified at the time,” Bray said. “I can say now that I am amazed and grateful!”