Mountain lions, or cougars, can cause a lot of damage to humans when they attack. However, one that went after a runner in Colorado (apparently the hot state for dangerous wildlife encounters at the moment) Monday met its match. As per Fox 31 Denver’s Joe Dahlke, a man who was running on the West Ridge Trail at the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space (west of Fort Collins) was attacked by a young mountain lion Monday and fought back, suffocating the animal with his bare hands. And a Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation Tuesday confirmed his story:
The man, who has not been identified, suffered bites on his face and wrist, wildlife officials said. He fought back by suffocating the animal with his bare hands.
“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 Mark Leslie, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region manager.
The runner told wildlife officials that he heard something behind him on the trail and when he turned around to investigate, the lion “lunged” at him causing serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
Here’s the Fox 31 video report on this:
As per The Associated Press, there have been 16 people injured and three killed by mountain lion attacks in Colorado since 1990. And they’re not an animal to trifle with; adult males average 150 pounds and can be more than eight feet long, while adult females average 90 pounds and can be more than seven feet long. And even a younger mountain lion like this one is certainly something to worry about. Fighting back is the best strategy for those attacked by mountain lions, as Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Perry Will told Fox 31:
“Obviously you want to fight back if you are attacked. Definitely fight back. Because there’s a lot of people that have had that happen. I think that’s when the realization to the lion is: that’s not my normal prey.”
The mountain lion that went after this runner certainly found that out.