Trail runner kills mountain lion that attacked him in Colorado

Mountain lions attacks are rare in Colorado – 16 people have been injured and three killed by mountain lions in the state since 1990. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Wildlife officials say a man who fought off a young mountain lion on a northern Colorado trail killed the animal by suffocating it.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the man was running alone near Fort Collins when the lion attacked him from behind after the movement apparently triggered its hunting instincts.

The runner, whose name hasn’t been released, fought off the cougar, hiked out of the area after Monday’s attack and drove himself to a hospital. He suffered facial cuts, wrist injuries and puncture wounds to his arms, legs and back.

On Tuesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the investigation confirmed the man’s account that he suffocated the animal. According to reports, the cat was less than a year old and weighed about 80 pounds. Reports also said it tested negative for rabies.

The attack comes after state wildlife officials announced they recently trapped and killed five mountain lions in the Glenwood Springs area after residents reported aggressive behavior by the predators. Glenwood Springs is located about 220 miles southwest of Fort Collins.

The Rifle Citizen Telegram reports Parks and Wildlife officials trapped and killed the mountain lions last month. Area wildlife manager Perry Will says four of the animals were believed to be a mother and her grown kittens. Video footage from a west Glenwood Springs residence showed the four mountain lions stalking around the neighborhood. Will says each of the lions killed last month were believed to be at least a year old and over 80 pounds. Will says euthanizing the cats is often the only option.

Mountain lion attacks are rare in Colorado, where their population is strong – 16 people have been injured and three killed by mountain lions in the state since 1990.

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