Mountain lions don’t attack humans often, but they do sometimes. And it frequently ends up bad for the human. But not in this case. Excerpt:
A Colorado jogger fought off a mountain lion in the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain on Monday, suffering severe bites before he killed the wild animal in self-defense, authorities said.
The man, who was not identified, was jogging on a trail on the West Ridge of the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, a mountain park about 66 miles northwest of Denver.
The mountain lion attacked him from behind, biting and clawing the man’s face, back, legs and arms, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources said in a joint release, late on Monday.
However, it was not disclosed exactly how the jogger managed to kill the animal, and no one from the CPW or the Larimer DNR was available for comment early Tuesday.
Responding to a question on Twitter about whether the jogger had used any kind of weapon against the create, the CPW confirmed that he had not.
Instead, he fought the animal off using just his bare hands.
This was a lucky jogger, for a couple of reasons.
First, the lion was a juvenile. So smaller, and inexperienced. Experienced lions kill by ambushing their prey and delivering a precise bite at the nape of the neck, severing the spinal cord and killing instantly. If this had been a 180-pound, three or four-year old tom instead of a yearling, this guy would have been dead before he knew what hit him.
Second, because it was a juvenile, it was likely wandering and looking for a territory, and therefore probably not in very good condition. Plenty of young lions die of starvation or disease while looking for a territory, and it’s not unusual for young lions to take on prey outside their normal range. Like people.
At any rate, this anonymous jogger did good; he kept his wits about him and fought back, which is recommended in lion attacks. Fortunately he’ll come out of it with no more than some scars worth bragging about, and a great story to tell. I for one would gladly buy him a beer just to hear that story.