A 45-year-old hiking on Vancouver Island was recently forced to take unusual measures to scare off a mountain lion that was stalking her. Dee Gallant and her dog Murphy were a couple of miles into a hike on the Canadian island when she got a feeling that something was watching her. Turning around, Gallant saw a mountain lion confidently striding down the dirt road towards her. After waving her arms and yelling “bad kitty” and “get out of here” to the big cat, the muscular feline stopped in its tracks, but refused to retreat. It appeared to be squaring up the woman as it stood motionless in the middle of the road. The standoff continued for about five minutes until Gallant had an idea, and drew her phone from her pocket. Queueing up the famously aggressive Metallica song “Don’t Tread On Me”, she turned the volume up all the way and let James Hetfield scream at the animal until it retreated.
“As soon as it started to play, he buggered off into the bush,” she said. “I guess he didn’t want to eat anything that leaves a Metallica taste in his mouth.”
After the animal disappeared into the woods, Gallant quickly walked back down to the trailhead, being sure to stay in the middle of the road and blasting the song on repeat for the rest of the hike.
After the incident, Gallant said she believed "Metallica saved the day there, for sure" and that she "actually thought it was really cool that I got to see a cougar for so long."
Dee and her dog Murphy. Photo: Dee Gallant
Soon the story was picked up by news outlets, and lead singer James Hetfield reached out to Gallant.
“Just got a message from Metallica’s artist liaison ... asking for my contact info so a band member could reach out to me !!!” she posted to her facebook.
Soon the two were texting like old friends, with Hetfield sending her a picture confirming it was him.
Hetfield reaching out after the incident. Photo: Dee Gallant