Sunday 20 October 2019

Runner 'wrestled' with mountain lion before choking it to death

Heart sank: Travis Kauffman. Photo: AP
Heart sank: Travis Kauffman. Photo: AP

Harry Cockburn

A man who was attacked by a mountain lion while jogging in Colorado has described how he survived by choking the animal to death.

Travis Kauffman (31) was out for a run on a path in Horsetooth Mountain Park when he heard the branches of a pine tree rustle behind him and turned to see the animal about three metres away.

Speaking with severe cuts still visible on his face and an arm bandaged, Mr Kauffman said: "It made my heart sink into my stomach.

"It just kind of lunged at me. I threw my arms up and it latched onto my wrist. It started clawing along my face and legs. I was screaming, doing my barbarian yell as best I could."

While trying to throw the animal off, the pair tumbled down a steep bank to the side of the path. "From there it was a wrestling match," he added. "It was thrashing and it still had my wrist locked in its jaws.

"I was able to pick up a big rock with my left hand and I was trying to hit it on the head but it was kind of a tough angle because my wrist was still in its mouth. I stepped on its neck and eventually I was able to suffocate it."

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