A Colorado trail runner is lucky to be alive after he was attacked by a mountain lion on the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins earlier this week. The man, who has not been identified, killed the mountain lion, which Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said was a “juvenile” and weighed 80 lbs, according to The Washington Post.
“The runner did everything he could to save his life,” Mark Leslie, northeast region manager for CPW. “In the event of a lion attack, you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did.”
According to NBC News, the mountain lion, whose body was found “within a few feet of some of the man’s possessions” attacked the runner, “biting his face and wrist and causing serious but non-life-threatening injuries.” A necropsy found that the man had suffocated the animal in order to get away, according to The Washington Post.
While mountain lion attacks are rare, they do occur, which means it’s important to stay vigilant if you’re in their territory. Ty Petersburg, a CPW area wildlife manager, said in a statement that “the lion’s hunting instincts were triggered by the runner.”
Fortunately, for the runner, he was able to defend himself and then get to an emergency room.