American jogger kills mountain lion with his bare hands after attack on a trail
An American jogger strangled a juvenile mountain lion in the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain, Colorado, but it was in self-defence after the predator attacked him, authorities have said.
- Triggered by its hunting instincts, the juvenile mountain lion attacked the jogger from behind
- Authorities confirmed the man fought off and strangled the cat with his bare hands
- Mountain lions are reclusive and have killed fewer than 20 people in the last 100 years
The man, who was not identified, survived the struggle in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, a mountain park less than 110 kilometres from Denver, officials said.
The man was running on a trail when the juvenile cougar attacked him from behind, biting and clawing his face, back, legs and arms, state and local officials said in a joint statement.
During the struggle, the man strangled the cat with his bare hands, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Rebecca Ferrell said.
“There was some wrestling going on and the cat did latch onto his arm but he was able to choke it,” she said.
The runner went to a hospital, officials said, with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening.
The remainder of the animal’s body was recovered near the trail, where the jogger had dropped some possessions, and taken to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife lab for a necropsy.
‘You do anything in your power to fight back’
The authorities said the mountain lion was male and less than a year old, and it weighed about 36 kilograms. It tested negative for rabies.
CPW NE Region tweet: After additional investigation, including examination of the lion, we have confirmed the victim’s account that he was able to suffocate the animal while defending himself from the attack
“The runner did everything he could to save his life,” said Mark Leslie, CPW Northeast Regional Manager.
“In the event of a lion attack, you need to do anything in your power to fight back, just as this gentleman did.”
Authorities are not identifying the man and say he needs time to decompress and decide if he will speak publicly.
Mountain lion attacks have caused fewer than 20 fatalities in the United States in the past 100 years.
Sixteen attacks are known to have occurred in Colorado since 1990, officials said.
“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 the CPW, said in a statement.
“This could have had a very different outcome.”