Runner Reveals How He Killed Mountain Lion That Attacked Him on Trail

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The Colorado runner who suffocated a mountain lion to death says he has no plans to avoid the trail going forward. 

A nonplussed Travis Kauffman told reporters at a press conference Thursday that he was "bummed out" when he noticed the animal chasing him on the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space trail on Feb. 4.

The 31-year-old tried all the tactics experts recommend. "I threw my hands up in the air and started shouting. Unfortunately the shouts didn't deter it," Kauffman said. 

He said the animal lunged at him and he threw up his hands in an attempt to block his face. "From there, it started to claw at my face and neck," he recalled.

But Kauffman wasn't so quick to yield. "I just kind of had a little wrestling match," he said, explaining that he managed to pin its legs to the ground and shift his weight, enabling him to "get a foot on its neck."

After a bit, "it finally stopped moving and its jaws opened and I was able to scramble back up the hill," Kauffman said. 

Wildlife officers who later found the dead cat estimate it was about 40 pounds and 5 months old, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Bleeding from various wounds sustained in the fight, Kauffman rushed home to girlfriend Annie Bierbower, who seemed a little reluctant to trust him at first. 

"She totally didn't believe me," Kauffman joked at the press conference. 

He was taken to a local hospital where he received 17 stitches to fix a gaping gash on his cheek.

The incident won't deter him from the trails where he was attacked, however. "I will go with a buddy, though," Kauffman said. 

He added that he feels very fortunate he survived.

"I feel like I should go buy a bunch of lottery tickets," Kauffman said. 

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