A Colorado man survived a harrowing encounter with a mountain lion this week, killing the giant feline with his bare hands after the animal mauled him during a run in a mountain park.
The incident occurred Monday in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, outside of Fort Collins in northern Colorado. CNN reported Wednesday.
A lone runner on the trail heard something approaching him from behind as he ran, and when he turned to see what it was, an 80-pound mountain lion pounced on him, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office reported.
The mountain lion bit the victim’s face and arm, leaving the runner seriously injured.
Despite his wounds, however, the runner managed to break free from the animal and strangle it to death.
Park officials later recovered the mountain lion’s remains, which were subsequently tested, verifying that the animal had died from strangulation.
The animal, a juvenile, was found to be less than one year old, park officials said, and was not suffering from rabies.
“We can also confirm the lion in this case was less than a year old, and we may be able to determine age a bit more tightly in the final reports. The cat also tested negative for rabies, which is very welcome news,” the park service tweeted Tuesday night.
"The runner did everything he could to save his life. In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did," said Mark Leslie, the park service’s regional manager.
The victim was evacuated to an area hospital after the attack, but has since been released.