FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A trail runner in Colorado fought for his life without any weapons when he was attacked by an 80-pound mountain lion Monday.
According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the mountain lion attacked an unnamed runner in Horsetooth Mountain Park just west of Fort Collins.
The victim heard something behind him when he was running on the trail and was attacked when he turned around to investigate. The mountain lion managed to bite his face and wrist before the runner was able to break free.
The runner suffocated the animal with his bare hands.
After subduing the mountain lion, he was able to hike to safety and later receive medical treatment at a nearby hospital.
The CPW believes that the young male was hunting and his instincts were triggered.
“Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado and it is unfortunate that the lion’s hunting instincts were triggered by the runner. This could have had a very different outcome,” Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in the statement.
The body of the mountain lion was found a few feet from the trail by the CPW. The lion has been taken to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife animal health lab for a necropsy.
The last mountain lion attack in Colorado was reported in June 2016 in Pitkin County.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife also provided tips in the statement if a person encounters a mountain lion:
- Do not approach a lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
- Stay calm when you come upon a lion. Talk calmly and firmly to it. Move slowly and never turn your back on it.
- Stop or back away slowly, if you can do it safely. Running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright.
- Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you're wearing one. If you have small children with you, protect them by picking them up so they won't panic and run.
- If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches or whatever you can get your hands on without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly. What you want to do is convince the lion you are not prey and that you may in fact be a danger to the lion.
- Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back. People have fought back with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools and their bare hands successfully. Target the eyes and nose as these are sensitive areas. Remain standing or try to get back up.