Runner suffocated mountain lion in act of self defense in Larimer County

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. -- A trail runner in Larimer County killed a juvenile mountain lion by suffocating the animal after it attacked him, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said on Tuesday.

The incident happened while the man was running on the West Ridge trail at the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, a 2,700-acre park just west of Fort Collins, when he was attacked by a "juvenile" mountain lion.

The man, who has not been identified, suffered bites on his face and wrist, wildlife officials said. He fought back by suffocating the animal with his bare hands.

“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, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region manager.

The runner told wildlife officials that he heard something behind him on the trail and when he turned around to investigate, the lion "lunged" at him causing serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

Mountain lions vary in size and weight, with males being larger than females. Adult males may be more than 8 feet in length and weigh an average of 150 pounds. Adult females may be up to 7 feet long and weigh an average of 90 pounds.

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