“I swear I thought I was going to be breakfast.”
As she made her way back down the mountain after a beautiful sunrise hike through Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile, Tara Bray couldn’t help but sense that someone else was on the trail.The solo hiker turned to look, and there he was — an enormous puma,
staring right at her.“I swear I thought I was going to be breakfast,” Bray wrote in an Instagram post.After a brief glimpse at his trail partner, the huge cat continued on his morning walk, uninterested. Bray was so relieved.“I was definitely scared and was hoping that it wouldn’t come
closer,” Bray told The Dodo. “I’m glad it just continued on its way!”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 it still sends a shiver down her spine to
think about the experience, Bray is ultimately appreciative to have seen such a majestic, powerful wild animal in his natural habitat, but she hopes it won’t ever happen again.“In the moment I was just more surprised and terrified,” Bray said. “I can say now I am in awe and grateful!”