Colorado Runner Kills Mountain Lion With His Bare Hands

Colorado Runner Kills Mountain Lion With His Bare Hands

Colorado Runner Kills Mountain Lion with Bare Hands

A trail runner was out for a run alone in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space area outside of Fort Collins, Colorado, when he was attacked by a mountain lion. The runner said he heard something behind him, and as he turned around to look, the lion attacked him from behind, biting his face and wrist. He managed to break free from the cougar’s claws and teeth, and he told investigators from Colorado Parks & Wildlife that he choked the lion to death while defending himself.

The runner apparently sustained “serious, but non–life threatening injuries” in the attack, and despite his wounds, he managed to run out of the park and get to a hospital for treatment. A necropsy of the animal this morning confirmed that the lion was suffocated.

According to a CPW release, the body of an 80-pound juvenile mountain lion was located on the West Ridge Trail. “The runner did everything he could to save his life. In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region manager Mark Leslie. The park was reopened last night after the investigation was concluded.

Mountain lion attacks are exceedingly rare in North America, with under 20 fatal attacks occurring in the last 100 years. Colorado has a healthy mountain lion population, as do many other western states, and a Washington mountain biker was killed by one last year. According to CPW, mountain lions have injured 16 people and killed three in Colorado since 1990.