Video shows trio's nerve-racking encounter with cougar near Tofino
'I didn't know if it was going to get to the point where it was like a nature against man moment'
Michael and Tara Antonakos were just getting ready leave a friend's cabin in Hot Springs Cove near Tofino, B.C., Wednesday morning when a chance encounter with a cougar stopped them in their tracks.
Michael Antonakos spotted the cougar approaching the porch steps of their friend's cabin and started filming it with his smart phone. That's when the three-and-a-half minute stare-down between cougar and man began.
"Oh my God," says a startled Shaun Shelongosky, the couple's friend and owner of the cabin in the YouTube clip.
"I'm so amazed," says Michael Antonakos.
Watch as the inquisitive cougar stalks the closed glass door
A bit of back-and-forth cussing can be heard between the friends before the cougar creeps up the porch steps and appears to stalk the closed glass door.
Tara Antonakos is then heard bounding up the stairs, away from the potential danger. Her thoughts as the cougar pounced? "That I'm the smallest," she recalled in a phone interview Thursday.
Nature against man?
"I didn't know if it was going to get to the point where it was like a nature against man moment," said Michael.
The couple had just moved to Vancouver from Toronto and were on holiday in the area with friends and family.
The cabin was in the process of being built and the doors and windows had just been installed.
Michael said he worried the large cat might be able to push the door open, and he considered going to the kitchen to get a knife "or something big and blunt" for protection.
But the cougar eventually wandered around the side of the cabin, and the stare-off continued from a window in another room.
"We finished the stare-off. I kinda let it go, and once I stopped staring him down he kinda sauntered off," said Michael.
The friends waited a full hour before feeling safe enough to attempt their covert escape.
"We put Tara between us so she didn't feel so scared," said Michael with a chuckle.
The trio —pinned up against each other for protection — made it safely to the boat and continued their holiday.
"I was prepared to spend the rest of my life in that cabin," said Tara.