Man Who Killed Lion Barehanded Recalls “Wrestling Match” For His Life

The Colorado resident said he and the animal tumbled down a slope together.

mountain lion attack
A man choked out a mountain lion when it attacked him earlier this month. (Avalon/UIG via Getty Images)
UIG via Getty Images

A Colorado man who choked a mountain lion to death said the animal latched onto his wrist with its teeth and started clawing at him moments after he noticed it.

Travis Kauffman, 31, was running on a scenic trail in the Fort Collins area on of Feb. 4 when the attack happened. He said he heard a rustling in the woods nearby and turned to see the lion just beyond the trail some 10 feet away.

After the cat launched itself at Kauffman, he said he and the lion fell down the side of a slope. “From there, it was just a wrestling match,” he said at a Thursday press conference, according to NBC News.

Kauffman told reporters that he was then able to pin back the lion’s legs and tried to use sticks to stab it in the neck and a rock to hit it in the head but neither worked.

Finally, “I stepped on its neck and then was eventually able to suffocate it,” he said.

“It was just pure adrenaline,” Kauffman recalled. “There was a certain point where I just kind of imagined being stuck on this hillside and just having a cat gnaw at me, which is a pretty creepy way to go.”

Kauffman then had to run a few miles out of the woods to a parking lot where he found a couple who drove him to the hospital. There, he received 20 stitches in his face and wrist.

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