While we mostly discuss situations involving two-legged predators, there are also many dangers in the natural world. These range from snakes to bears and even to wild dogs. However, you don’t often hear about a mountain lion attack, but when you do the results don’t typically favor the person. In a recent case in Colorado, though, the lion received the worst of the deal.
The Colorado Parks & Wildlife announced it was investigating a mountain lion attack in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. An unidentified man was running the West Ridge Trail when he heard something behind him. When he turned, he claims a lion attacked, biting at the man’s face and wrist. He was, however, to fend off and kill the mountain lion, using only his hands. Afterwards, the runner, despite serious injuries, was able to get out of the area and make to a local hospital.
CPW officers searched the area and found a dead juvenile mountain lion, along with personal items dropped by the runner during the incident. The officers took it to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife animal health lab for a necropsy. The CPW stated the runner did everything right in the situation.
“The runner did everything he could to save his life,” said Mark Leslie, CPW Northeast Region manager. “In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did.”
Fending Off a Mountain Lion Attack
This runner probably could have benefited from having a gun. However, it happened very quickly, so it might not have mattered, at least in the beginning. He possibly could have defended with one hand and drew with the other, but there is no way of knowing now. Nor does it really matter. Regardless, this man deserves accolades for situational awareness. He heard one of the quietest predators in the world while running down a trail.
Additionally, this guy had the presence of mind to do more than just fight a mountain lion; he killed it with his bare hands, which is a great example of what a person can do if required. This is also an example of the need for hand-to-hand training and staying in fighting shape. Despite monumental efforts by gun rights groups, there are still places where it is illegal to carry a gun. And since criminals don’t follow the law, these “safe zones” can quickly become danger zones. Being disarmed isn’t an excuse for being unprepared. Speed, skill and physical strength are great assets for those with a defensive mindset. However, they must be honed.