How do you think you’d react if you were and attacked by a mountain lion alone in the wilderness? We hope you never find out like this poor trail runner…
A yet-to-be identified Colorado man was jogging along the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space in Fort Collins when the unthinkable happened — a mountain lion decided the runner was an easy meal. Apparently, the act of running itself triggered the animal’s hunting instincts – similar to how your housecat reacts to a toy.
After hearing a sound behind him, the man says he turned around just in time to see the lion lunge at him – all sharp teeth and razor claws. The jogger was bitten and clawed on his face and wrist, and in a split decision, he knew that running was not an option. His only chance at survival would be to fight back.
Since he was just exercising on a well-used trail, he didn’t have a weapon on him. Mountain lions aren’t that common in Colorado, so the likelihood of an attack was minuscule. Unfortunately for the man, on that day the unlikely became reality.
Knowing that running away wasn’t an option, the man decided to fight back. Details of the struggle have not been detailed, but we know the man somehow managed to suffocate the juvenile lion. It wasn’t an easy fight, however, and the man ended up with serious injuries on his arms, legs, back and face.
Mark Leslie, manager for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region, had this to say in a statement: “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.”
The man managed to make his way to a local hospital where he was treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Obviously, the outcome of the struggle could have gone a very different way. Fortunately for this jogger, he escaped with his life — and a tale to impress his family for generations.
But don’t cancel your hiking plans just yet! As we said, attacks like these are incredibly rare.
A Rare Occurrence
In the last 100 years, only 20 fatal mountain lion attacks have been reported in North America. And in Colorado, only 16 attacks have been reported in almost 20 years. While less than one attack per year is rare, Colorado Parks and Wildlife took to Twitter to remind people that they do live among potentially dangerous predators.
A reminder that living in Colorado means living among our wildlife. Our website has several great resources, including brochures about how to live and recreate with a variety of species. See our Living with Lions brochure for more information: https://t.co/9t0vPivxdz pic.twitter.com/NvoP9C3pUE
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) February 5, 2019