FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A trail runner has been released from the hospital and is on the mend, after being attacked by a mountain lion on Monday. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said he was able to kill the lion in self-defense.
Horsetooth Moutain and Soderberg trailheads closed down again on Tuesday evening, as additional mountain lions were spotted near the scene of Monday’s attack.
Wildlife officials said the runner did everything right. When the Mountain Lion came up on him, he stared directly into the mountain lions eyes and spoke in a firm, loud voice but still the animal attacked.
It’s an unbelievable story of survival.
“It’s incredible – just wild to me,” hiker, Christine Hamilton said.
A man took down a mountain lion – it’s now prompted Nationwide attention. From Chuck Norris memes to calls flooding Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“We’ve even had a few people enquire about the man’s marital status,” Rebecca Ferrell with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.
CPW said the man, in his early 30s, was running on the West Ridge Trail of Horsetooth Mountain Park on Monday around 3 p.m. when he heard a noise, turned around, and came face to face with a young mountain lion – under one year old. The cat lunged at the runner biting down on his face, but CPW said he did everything he could to fight back.
“He was able to utilize some rocks that he found trailside to try and beat the animal down and then was able to use his hands arms and feet to choke the animal,” Ferrell said.
Remarkably the man was able to hike down a mile and a half to his car and get himself to the nearest hospital. As hikers hit the same trail, less than 24 hours after the grizzly encounter, many took extra precautions.
“My husband said, I hope you brought your gun – and I did. I have a conceal and carry,” hiker, Penny Bossert said.
“Normally I wouldn’t carry my camping knife on just a hike but after yesterday – well just in case,” hiker, Tommy Hamilton said.
CPW crews removed the mountain lion from the trail and transported him to their Wildlife Health lab in Ft. Collins to be examined. The animal tested negative for rabies.
“Now we’re waiting on results that will give us more on length and weight and the age pinned down,” Ferrell said.
CPW officials in awe of the man’s bravery in this situation.
“It’s one of the most brave and heroic stories that I’ve heard in my time at CPW. His fight or flight kicked in and he did everything he knew to get himself out of that situation alive.”
CPW said the runner may talk about this ordeal in the days ahead – after he’s had time to recover both emotionally and physically.