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Colorado Runner Kills Mountain Lion in Self-Defense

On Monday, a trail runner near Denver, CO killed a mountain lion in self-defense.

The Colorado Parks & Wildlife reports that the runner was jogging through the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space when the juvenile cat stalked him from behind. The victim, who remains unidentified, described hearing noises behind him while running on the trail. When he swiveled around to investigate the predator pounced, biting his face and wrist. Persevering, the runner fought back, ultimately killing the animal.

RELATED: Seattle Area Mountain Biker Dead After Cougar Attack

After self-rescuing and transporting himself to a nearby hospital, the victim was treated for serious injuries. Local wildlife officers found the attack to be unsettling. Mountain Lion encounters are incredibly rare in Colorado. In this case, it is likely that the runner triggered the animal’s hunting instincts, but he also did what everyone should do if attacked by a mountain: fight for your life.

In general mountain lion attacks are rare, so much so that there have been fewer than 20 fatalities in North America in the last 100 years. Colorado has had three fatalities since 1990, despite having very healthy lion populations in the state. In general, these animals are elusive and notoriously avoid humans. However, if you’re spending any time in their habitat it’s worth noting what to do if you encounter one.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife has some great suggestions on what to do, which you can check out here.

About The Author

stash member Katie Lozancich

TGR Staff Writer and photographer. Fond of bikes, pow, and dogs. Originally from Northern CA, home for me has ranged from the PNW to a teepee in Grand Teton National Park.