A Colorado jogger battled a mountain lion in the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain Monday and suffered severe bites before killing the wild animal in self-defense, authorities said.
The unidentified man was jogging on a trail on the West Ridge of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, a mountain park about 66 miles northwest of Denver, officials said.
A juvenile mountain lion attacked him from behind, biting and clawing the man’s face, back, legs and arms, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources said in a joint release late Monday.
How the jogger killed the animal was not disclosed and no one from the CPW or the Larimer DNR was available for comment early Tuesday.
The runner was able to get to a local hospital, officials said. His injuries were severe, but not life-threatening, it said.
The animal’s body was recovered near the path and the jogger’s discarded possessions were taken to a CPW lab for autopsy, officials said.
“The runner did everything possible to save his life,” said Mark Leslie, CPW Northeast Regional Manager. “In the event of a lion attack, you must do everything in your power to fight back, just like this gentleman did.”
In the United States, lion strikes have resulted in fewer than 20 deaths over the past 100 years. There have been 16 known attacks in Colorado since 1990, officials said.
“Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado and it is unfortunate that the lion’s hunting instinct was instilled by the runner,” said Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for the CPW, in a statement. “That could have had a completely different result.”