Colorado trail runner describes mountain lion attack

Meet Travis Kauffman.

On Monday Feb. 4 he set out for a 12 to 15 mile trail run when he was attacked by a young mountain lion.

He’s now speaking out about that deadly encounter on a Colorado mountainside.

“I heard some pine needles rustle behind me,” he told Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Luckily, I was actually able to turn my head.”

“One of my worst fears was confirmed,” he said.

The young mountain lion approached him. That’s when Kauffman threw his hands up and started yelling.

“I was kind of protecting my face,” he said. “It latched onto my wrist. It started clawing at my face.
I tried to throw it off of me.”

That’s when it turned into what he described as “wrestling match,” leaving Kauffman grabbing for sticks and rocks. Anything to hit the big cat with.

Finally, he got his right foot onto the cougar’s neck, pinning it to the ground, suffocating and “unfortunately killing it,” he said.

He ran back for help, terrified the entire way. Some other trail runners helped him to the hospital, where he lived to tell this incredible tale.

“It’s super rare,” he said. “I feel like I should go buy a bunch of lottery tickets.”

Mountain man, extraordinaire.

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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