The story involving a trail runner that was attacked by a mountain lion in Fort Collins gets stranger as a necropsy of the mountain lion that died during the attack revealed that the lion was suffocated to death.

According to a spokesperson from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the man strangled the mountain lion while it was attacking him. This strangulation killed the lion, after which the man hiked to safety.

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“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,” said Mark Leslie, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region manager.

Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare in Colorado. That this attack resulted in the strangulation of a mountain lion is even rarer. Our team was unable to find another instance in which anything remotely similar occurred in Colorado involving a human and an apex predator. The closest instance might be when Colorado’s last grizzly was killed with a hand full of arrows.

This situation was a bad one involving the death of an animal, but it could have been much worse. Thankfully the man escaped the attack with non-life threatening injuries. Injuries sustained included bites, lacerations, and puncture wounds on his face, arms, legs, and back.

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