Runner in US survives mountain lion attack by killing it with his bare hands

Runner in US survives mountain lion attack by killing it with his bare hands

A TRAIL runner in Colorado survived an attack by a mountain lion after killing the animal with his bare hands.

The attack occurred on Monday at the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space in Larimer County, after the runner heard a noise behind him and turned to investigate.

He sustained serious injuries, including being bitten on the face and wrist, but was able to make his way to hospital after suffocating the animal.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers investigating the incident retrieved the animal’s body, which was removed for a necropsy.

They confirmed the man’s account that he suffocated the mountain lion – believed to be less than a year old – in self defence, adding that the animal had tested negative for rabies.

'You need to do anything'

“The runner did everything he could to save his life,” said Mark Leslie, CPW Northeast Region manager.

“In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did.”

There have been fewer than 20 fatalities from mountain lion attacks in North America in more than 100 years, said CPW.

Since 1990, Colorado has had 16 injuries and three fatalities as a result of mountain lion attacks.

“Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado and it is unfortunate that the lion’s hunting instincts were triggered by the runner,” said Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for CPW.

“This could have had a very different outcome.”