A runner, who fought off a mountain lion with his bare hands, killing it in the process, has finally spoken out about the incredible ordeal.
Travis Kauffman’s story has gone viral since he was running through the Colorado wilderness and had a full on showdown with the vicious animal.
He describes going for a hike and hearing the sound of pine needles rustling. While he usually doesn’t think much of it, he’s always worried that it could be a deadly animal.
Sadly for him, his worst fears came to life.
In seconds, the lion pounced on him and then began a three-minute battle for life.
The 31-year-old explained: “It was going up towards my face so I threw up my hands to kind of block my face, at which point it grabbed onto my hand and wrist and from there it started to claw at my face and neck.
“And that’s when kind of my fear response turned into more of a fight response.
“Because I’m a recent cat owner, I know that the back claws are pretty dangerous when it comes down to an attack. And I was pretty worried about its claws just sinking into my my stomach and groin area.
“I was able to shift my weight and get a foot on its neck…I stepped on its neck with my right foot and just slowly after a few minutes I thought I would be getting close and then it would start thrashing again and I had a few more scratches that resulted from those thrashes at that point, and I’d say another couple minutes later it finally stopped moving.
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.