“He Could Have Killed”: A 100-Pound Cougar Nearly Ended Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Life on Total Recall’s Set Once

Published 01/19/2023, 9:15 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 17: Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks on stage(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Legendary actor Arnold Schwarzenegger might be one of the most legendary and fittest people, but once, even he fell weak in front of a wild animal. While he was on the sets of Total Recall, Schwarzenegger faced a life-threatening incident with a 100 pounds cougar, whom he used to once pet.

One of the most anticipated autobiographies in the Hollywood industry has been the one by the Terminator actor himself, The Total Recall. The book briefly discusses the unfortunate event and from what one could gather from his admissions, he still thinks highly of his unusual pets.

Playtime turned risky for Arnold Schwarzenegger


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It is no secret that Schwarzenegger is an animal lover. Hence, when he got an opportunity to play with a panther and cougar kitten, he did not let it slip. In his book, Schwarzenegger revealed that although they were wild animals, the Hollywood superstar loved to play with them. For months, Schwarzenegger spent time with the kittens every day.

Arnold Scwarzenegger, Buchmesse 2012 10.10.2012 Frankfurt x1x Buchmesse 2012, Autor Arnold Scwarzenegger: – Total Recall – auf der ARD Bühne. Frankfurt Frankfurt Hessen Germany *** Arnold Scwarzenegger Book Fair 2012 10 10 2012 Frankfurt x1x Book Fair 2012 Author Arnold Scwarzenegger Total Recall on ARD Stage Frankfurt Frankfurt Hessen Germany

And by the end of the film shoot, they had grown into 7-month-old healthy animals. And that’s where the trouble began. In his autobiography Total Recall, Schwarzenegger penned, “One day the cougar was lounging at the back of the RV when I stood up and walked toward the front. With no warning, he leaped all the way across the length of the vehicle and onto the back of my neck: 100 pounds of cougar knocking me forward into the steering wheel. He could have killed me with a quick bite to the spine, but he just wanted to play.”


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Although the wild beast uniquely surprised the Terminator actor, it still managed to earn Schwarzenegger’s affection and love. He is still fairly assured that it did not intend to kill the actor. Besides this, although he was scared, Schwarzenegger also took a picture with a knocked-out lioness to share the memory with his kids.


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However, the star is no stranger to animal accidents, as once his own pet made s surprise appearance. And this is how the actor handled it.

Lulu paused the meeting

As unique as Schwarzenegger’s personality is, his choice of pet animals is a rarity too. The actor has a miniature pony Whiskey and a donkey Lulu, who is equally famous as the star. Once during an online interview for the Jimmy Fallon Show, Lulu decided to make a guest appearance alongside the actor. While the actor was talking, Lulu interrupted the video call and Schwarzenegger greeted her with a big smile and introduced her to the host.


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Watch This Story: From Terminator to Total Recall, here are Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic catchphrases

The Hollywood actor star loves his pets so much that he also produced personalized merchandise for both Whiskey and Lulu. Be it a cougar or a donkey, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares the same love for all.



Soumya Bontra

268 articles

Soumya Bontra is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has been working as a sports journalist and writer for the past two years. Soumya has a Bachelor’s in Mass Media.

Edited By: Jahnabi Choudhury