UPDATE: Meet the Fort Collins Man Who Battled a Mountain Lion
In the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain along the West Ridge Trail just west of Fort Collins, Colorado, a trail runner was attacked by a mountain lion on Monday, February 4, 2019. He suffered severe bites before being able to kill the animal in self-defense. The jogger's injuries were not life-threatening.
In a press conference Thursday (February 14) Colorado Parks and Wildlife identified the victim as Travis Kauffman, 31, of Fort Collins. The Fort Collins' newspaper The Coloradoan reports that Kauffman made it through the attack without any broken bones or tendon damage. He did need more than 20 facial stitches.
Kauffman is originally from Arkansas and has lived in Fort Collins for five years. He was running alone on February 4 when a lion lunged at him from behind. Kauffman was able to defend himself and kill the big cat before getting himself to a local hospital.
“Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado and it is unfortunate that the lion’s hunting instincts were triggered by the runner,” Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. “This could have had a very different outcome.”
Lion populations are doing very well in Colorado, but they are elusive animals and tend to avoid humans according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Most people will never see a lion in the wild, but they are there. If you live, work, or play in mountain lion country, it is important to be alert.
“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.
See Kauffman speak at a press conference.
In the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain, just west of Fort Collins, Colorado, a jogger was attacked by a mountain lion on Monday afternoon. He suffered severe bites before being able to kill the animal in self-defense. The jogger, who was not identified, was seriously injured, but those injuries were not life-threatening.
The man was jogging on a trail on the West Ridge of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, when the juvenile mountain lion attacked him from behind. The animal bit and clawed the man's back, legs, arms, and face.
Mountain Lion attacks are very rare, with fewer than 20 fatalities occurring in the United States in the past one hundred years, with only 16 attacks in Colorado since 1990. Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday Morning: "Don’t mess with Colorado trail runners. A runner near Fort Collins killed an attacking mountain lion with his bare hands. Don’t try this yourself on purpose, as it is likely to end poorly for you. If it does come to a fight, Target the eyes and nose. This gentleman managed to suffocate the attacking cat."