|Adult mountain lion (Colorado Parks & Wildlife).|
Screens all over America, even at political websites, lit up yesterday with the news of a trail runner attacked by a mountain lion west of Fort Collins.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife kicked off the story with a news release on Monday, February 4th, reading in part:
LARIMER COUNTY, CO -- Colorado Parks and Wildlife is actively investigating a reported wild cat attack on a trail runner at Horsetooth Mountain Park on Monday afternoon, Feb 4. The victim survived the attack and is currently undergoing medical treatment at a local hospital.Subsequent news stories explained how the thirty-something runner not only fought off the cat but but choked it to death.
The man was trail running on West Ridge Trail on Horsetooth Mountain Park property when he was attacked from behind by a large cat. The cat bit his face and wrist; the victim suffered facial lacerations, wrist injuries and scratches and puncture wounds to his arms, legs and back.
The man picked up a rock with his free hand and pounded the cat in the head, but the animal hung on. He then put the lion in a headlock and wrestled and scrapped with the creature on the trail.His Paleolithic great-nth grand-daddy would have been proud.
When he finally managed to free his wrist from the cat’s jaws, the runner counterattacked. He jumped on the mountain lion’s back, and, using his hands, arms and feet, he choked the animal to death, she said.
In one well-known case, a woman running alone was killed in 1994 on a trail near Auburn, California, which makes a chapter in Jordan Fisher Smith's 2005 memoir Nature Noir: A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra. On the other hand, three years ago a Pitkin County, Colorado, woman fought off a lion who had her 5-year-old's head in its mouth, so she gets the Paleo Prize too.
|Allyn Atadero, father of Jaryd, with his son's clothing, found four years|
after the boy disappeared along the Cache la Poudre River (Montana Standard).
Yet — and this is important — when you read this list of fatal attacks in North America, which begins in 1890, you will notice how many of them were on children. Of the adults, a majority seemed to have been alone and moving — running, skiing, hiking. One mountain biker was attacked while bent over fixing the chain on his bicycle, apparently.
Now is when I could segue into telling my own stories of being stalked by mountain lions — one time in particular got sort of Paleo — but I think I will save it for a follow-up post. Check back in a couple of days.