A man who went running through the mountains in northern Colorado wound up killing s mountain lion with his bare hands when the animal attacked him from behind.
The runner has not been identified, though officials have disclosed where he was attacked on the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins.
The state wildlife department maintains the man suffocated the mountain lion, estimated to be under a year old. According to NBC, the runner eventually made it to a nearby hospital where he was treated for “non-life-threatening puncture wounds to his arms, legs and back.”
According to Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for the wildlife agency, “he was really creative. He used his hands, feet — things that were around him — and really it was just a fight for survival.”
Petersburg said the man knew what he was doing when the mountain lion approached. The runner testified that he put his arms up, started shouting, and never turned his back.
“Probably what happened here is that the lion had an instinct triggered,” Petersburg said. “It wasn’t so much tracking a human or keying in on a human. It just had an instinct triggered like it would if you were to roll a ball of yarn across the ground for a cat.”
The incident seems probable from the story given, but even Petersburg was amazed at the outcome.
“To be able to see a man face adversity like that and come out on the other side is pretty amazing,” he said.
Even the Governor of Colorado is proud.
“Don’t mess with Colorado trail runners,” Gov. Jared Poliswrote on Facebook.
“A runner near Fort Collins killed an attacking mountain lion with his bare hands. Don’t try this yourself on purpose, as it is likely to end poorly for you.”
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.