A man in Colorado killed a mountain lion with his bare hands after the big cat attacked him while he was out jogging.
The man, who has not been identified, was running along the West Ridge Trail at the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, in Fort Collins, when he heard the mountain lion approach behind him.
When he turned around, the animal lunged at him, biting his face and wrist, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).
However, the jogger managed to fight back, and eventually suffocated the mountain lion with his hands. CPW have confirmed the man killed the animal, and didn’t use any weapons.
Rebecca Ferrell, a spokesperson from CPW, told Reuters:
There was some wrestling going on and the cat did latch onto his arm but he was able to choke it.
Mark Leslie, the manager for the CPW Northeast Region, said in a statement:
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.
The man sustained serious injuries in the process, though they were not life-threatening, and managed to get himself to hospital soon after the incident.
A reminder that living in Colorado means living among our wildlife. Our website has several great resources, including brochures about how to live and recreate with a variety of species. See our Living with Lions brochure for more information: https://t.co/9t0vPivxdz pic.twitter.com/NvoP9C3pUE
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) February 5, 2019
Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for CPW, told the Denver Post:
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.
The mountain lion was described as a juvenile, and its body has been sent for an autopsy. Officials have said the man killed the animal ‘in self-defence’.
There have been less than 20 fatal mountain lion attacks on humans in North America in more than 100 years. 16 attacks have happened in Colorado since 1990, three of which were fatal.
The Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is a park around 70 miles (110km) from Denver. It spans 2,711-acres and has 29 miles of recreational trails.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.