An 18-year-old man was injured Wednesday as he and hiking companion fled from a mountain lion they spotted near a trail in Catalina State Park north of Tucson. The pair was not attacked by the big cat, officials say.

An 18-year-old man was injured Wednesday as he and a female hiking companion fled from a mountain lion on a trail at Catalina State Park north of Tucson, wildlife officials said.

"The lion did not attack them," said Mark Hart, spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. "But they felt threatened by the animal's action and felt they needed to leave the area posthaste. The man slipped and fell down a slope as they were leaving the area quickly."

Hart said the man sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the fall and was taken to a hospital for treatment. He declined to identify the two hikers by name and wasn't certain of where the man was hospitalized.

The incident took place around 7:30 a.m. at Romero Pools on the Romero Canyon Trail in the park, Hart said.

"As they came up to Romero Pools, they observed a mountain lion watching them from about 25 feet away," he said. "They started to back up and walk away after they snapped a photo of the lion. As they were moving away, it moved closer to them" — prompting their hurried escape and the man's fall.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.