A jogger used his bare hands to dispatch an attacking cougar in a Colorado park.
A man is recovering from injuries in a local hospital after he killed a cougar while jogging in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space west of Fort Collins, Colorado.
According to the official news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, the yet unidentified man was attacked from behind while running on the park's West Ridge Trail on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.
The lion jumped and bit the man's face and wrist. The cat was reportedly a juvenile mountain lion, and the man was able to fight and break free of the attack, killing the wild animal in self defense.
The Coloradoan reported that the man suffocated the cougar.
"Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado and it is unfortunate that the lion's hunting instincts were triggered by the runner," Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. "This could have had a very different outcome."
Afterwards, wildlife officers were able to locate the body of a juvenile mountain lion using tips from the victim. The dead lion was within feet of several possessions that the victim identified as things he'd left on the trail.
The cougar has been taken for a necropsy at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife animal health lab.
Though cougar attacks ending in human fatality are extremely rare, the last two deadly attacks took place in Larimer County, where the Horsetooth Mountain Park is located.
Was this survival instinct and a little luck, or sound advice set to memory for the Colorado jogger?
"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, CPW Northeast Region manager.
The CPW advises never approaching cougars, especially ones that are feeding or with kittens. Stay calm, stop, and back away while still facing the animal. Talk firmly at it, and if it shows aggression wave your arms or throw sticks or branches at it to prove you aren't prey.
If a lion attacks, fight back like this Colorado jogger did. Target the eyes and nose, and try to remain standing or get back up if knocked down.
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