As a man last Monday near Fort Collins, Colorado, from an 80-pound mountain lion was attacked, he was able to free himself from the lion's grip and strangle him to death with his bare hands.
"The runner did everything to save his life, and in the case of a lion attack, you must do everything in your power to defend yourself as this gentleman did," Mark Leslie, Northeast Regional Manager Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), said on CNN. According to The Washington Post the man heard noises as he ran on the trails. When he turned to see what was going on, the lion rushed toward him. Ty Petersburg, a wildlife manager for the CPW, said that "the lion's hunting instinct was triggered by the runner."
After the runner was killed, the runner could call for help and was taken to hospital with severe injuries. The CPW service closed the park the following day and park officials tweeted that the lion was a young male and had no rabies.
We can also confirm that the lion was less than a year old in this case, and we may be able to pinpoint the age in the final reports. The cat also tested negative for rabies, which is very welcome.
̵1; CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) February 5, 2019
The Rangers will assess the safety of the park to determine when it will be open to the public again. "Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado, and it's unfortunate that the lion's hunting instinct was triggered by the runner," said Ty Petersburg wildlife manager for CPW, told CNN. "This could have had a completely different result."
Officials report that over 20 years in North America, fewer than 20 people have been killed by mountain lions. In Colorado alone, three people have been killed in mountain lion attacks and 16 injured since 1990. The governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, visited Facebook to discuss the incident. He told people they did not mess with Colorado Trailrunners. They encounter a mountain lion.
Thanks to Governor Polis, we now all know what to do when we encounter a mountain lion. If you live in a state like Colorado, that only seems to be part of the governor.
According to BCC, the normally elusive mountain lions are only known to attack if they starve to death or are sick. Younger lions are often forced to hunt themselves before they are ready. Otherwise, lions tend to move away from humans. The animal is taken to a nearby lab on Monday for autopsy. In May 2018, one cyclist was killed in Washington and another injured when an official described the mountain lions "emaciated". In September 2018, a wanderer was found dead in Oregon and is believed to be the first victim of a fatal mountain lion attack.
If you are ever hit by a mountain lion in the wild, do not run – this will trigger your hunting instinct. Instead, stay calm and make yourself as tall as possible by using your arms or coat. Do not turn your back on the animal and do not bend. For more information about mountain lions, visit the CPW website.
The runner was released from hospital and is recovering before deciding whether to speak publicly about what happened. The guy was attacked by a literal lion. A little break is definitely worth it.