Experienced outdoorsmen and recreationists in cougar country often make a habit of checking behind their backs every so often to make sure they’re not getting stalked by one of North America’s most deadly creatures.
But those big cats are incredibly sneaky.
A trail runner in Colorado found that out the hard way on Monday when a juvenile mountain lion attacked him from behind, according to the Wichita Eagle. The unnamed man was running in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just outside Fort Collins, the Colorado Parks & Wildlife department reported.
The man turned around as the cougar lunged at him and bit him in the wrist and face. With no knife or gun on him, the man fought back with the only weapon he had: his bare hands.
Not only did the man put up a good fight, though, he even managed to kill the lion. How? By grabbing it around the neck and suffocating it.
“He was able to choke it, which is very incredible,” said CPW’s Rebecca Ferrell.
“The runner did everything he could to save his life,” added CPW’s Mark Leslie. “In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did.”
But not only did the runner kill the mountain lion, he got himself back to civilization and checked himself into a hospital despite sustaining serious injuries. He is expected to survive.
CWP reminded the public that “Mountain lion attacks on people are rare, with fewer than 20 fatalities in North America in more than 100 years.”
Social media users reacted to the runner’s incredible fight for survival: