An unidentified man who was running on Horsetooth Mountain Open Space’s West Ridge Trail near Fort Collins, Colorado had a nasty encounter on with a juvenile cougar on Monday, which ended with the runner wounded and the animal strangled to death, the Coloradoan reported this week.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has confirmed that a male cougar (Puma concolor couguar, also known as a mountain lion, puma, or catamount) weighing at least 80 pounds attacked the man and managed to inflict bite wounds to his face and wrist – before the tables turned and the man managed to suffocate it with his bare hands. The runner sustained “serious, but non-life threatening injuries” in the deeply unfortunate incident.
We can also confirm the lion in this case was less than a year old, and we may be able to determine age a bit more tightly in the final reports. The cat also tested negative for rabies, which is very welcome news.— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) February 5, 2019
“The runner did everything he could to save his life,” CPW Northeast region manager Mark Leslie said in the statement. “In the event of a lion attack, you need to do anything in your power to fight back, just as this gentleman did.”
Mountain lions have only caused three confirmed deaths in the state since 1990, and under 12 in North America in over 100 years.