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Midnight Mania! Trail runner chokes out mountain lion with bare hands in self-defense

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Cougar Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Who says jiu jitsu doesn’t work on the trail? A Colorado trail runner today choked out a mountain lion that attacked him, in an impressive display of Man vs. Beast. The lion was a juvenile, only 80 pounds, about half the size of a full-grown cougar, but still a formidable opponent. The runner said he was approached from behind and turned around to see the mountain lion, which attacked him. He attempted to scare the predator off, but to no avail, and the fight commenced. He was able to choke the lion to death.


The man “didn’t have any weapons,” Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for the wildlife agency, told NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver.

”He was really creative,” Petersburg said. “He used his hands, feet — things that were around him — and really it was just a fight for survival.”

The runner hasn’t been identified. He was attacked on the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins on Monday, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife agency said. The cat tested negative for rabies, and the runner was released from the hospital after being treated for bite wounds on his back, arms, and legs.

“probably what happened here is that the lion had an instinct triggered,” Petersburg told KUSA. “It wasn’t so much tracking a human or keying in on a human. It just had an instinct triggered like it would if you were to roll a ball of yarn across the ground for a cat.”

Officially, fewer than 20 people have been killed in North America by cougars in the past century. Cougar attacks are rare, but even rarer is a cougar attack where the victim chokes out the cougar with wits, skill and raw courage.

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Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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