In a stranger-than-fiction story from the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space’s West Ridge Trail near Fort Collins, Colorado, a man was attacked by a mountain lion while running, but somehow managed to gain the upper hand on the animal, eventually using his bare, bloody hands to strangle the big cat to death.
According to the Coloradoan, the still-unnamed man was running by himself in the expansive park on Monday when he heard something behind him, and turned around to see a mountain lion lunging for him. The man suffered multiple lacerations and puncture wounds from the predator, but did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
After escaping the park and checking himself into a nearby hospital, the man reported his story to local authorities, who found the mountain lion and confirmed the Herculean tale. A Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson later reported that the mountain lion was less than a year old, weighed slightly less than 100 pounds, and did not have rabies.
"The lion was upon his upper body and the man was able to fight the animal off and kill it at the end of it in self-defense, and then get himself off the trail into a car,” CPW wildlife manager Ty Petersburg told Colorado’s NEWS9. “[The man] didn't have any weapons... He was really creative. He used his hands, feet — things that were around him, and really it was just a fight for survival."
CPW authorities closed the West Ridge Trail for the rest of Monday, but reopened the popular running area on Tuesday, with additional patrol rangers. But even with the added wild animal oversight, we’re gonna hedge out bets and stick to the treadmill for a few months, thank you very much.
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