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A runner in Colorado killed an attacking mountain lion with his bare hands

Police have ruled the man killed the lion “in self defense.”

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A trail runner in Colorado was injured in a mountain lion attack Monday afternoon in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, killing the animal in the process. The man (whose identity has not yet been released), managed to hike to a local hospital to have his wounds attended to, while police were notified by the incident.

What made this all the more astounding was that the runner didn’t have any kind of weapon on him. He killed the mountain lion with his bare hands.

The cat is described to be a juvenile mountain lion, and police have ruled the man killed the animal in self defense. These kind of attacks are rare in Colorado, according to a representative for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) who spoke to the Denver Post.

“Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado and it is unfortunate that the lion’s hunting instincts were triggered by the runner,” said Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for CPW. “This could have had a very different outcome.”

Another representative from CPW said the runner did exactly what he needed to in the situation.

“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, CPW northeast region manager.

The exact size of the mountain lion is unknown at this time, and sizes inside the species vary greatly depending on region — however it’s most likely the animal weighed between 65-85 pounds, and was 3-4 feet in length. making it roughly the size of a German Shepard, but an angry lion instead.

An autopsy was carried about and confirmed the man’s account of the incident.