The runner in Colorado who hit the headlines for killing a mountain lion with his bare hands whilst out on a trail run 'did what he had to do' after his survival instinct kicked in.
The unidentified man, who is in his 30s, was running alone near the Fort Collins area when the animal pounced on him from behind, triggering his animal instincts.
Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Initially the man made a lot of noise and waved his arms about - the advice given by staff at Colorado Parks and Wildlife in case people come face-to-face with a mountain lion, but the lion pounced.
With just seconds to make his move, the man reportedly hit the animal with a rock, wrestled it to the ground and used the force of his entire body to choke it to death.
But the ordeal didn't end there, as the man then had to drive himself to a nearby hospital, where he recovered from a number of wounds across his face and arms and was treated and tested for a number of viruses and infections, including rabies. He was released from the hospital earlier this week and is said to be doing fine.
A spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Rebecca Ferrell, revealed examinations of the juvenile mountain lion confirmed it had been choked, and said the man did the right thing by fighting back.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Ferrell said: "It's definitely not something you hear every day.
"We know it sounds hard to believe, but his survival instinct kicked in and he did what he had to do."
The account of the ordeal shows that the man was running along West Ridge, a popular trail in Larimer County's Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, when he heard a rustle behind him.
Being less than a year old, it's likely the cat was scared and learning how to hunt, but despite the man's initial efforts to scare him away, the lion went for his face and neck.
A runner killed a mountain lion that pounced on him during a trail run. Credit: 1713 images/Pixabay
"That's when his survival instincts kicked in," Ferrell said. Adding that the man wrestled the creature to the floor and used all of his might to strangle the lion until it stopped breathing. He then bolted off to his car and got himself to the hospital for treatment.
CPW's Northeast Region manager Mark Leslie added that 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."
Featured Image Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife