- A man who choked a mountain lion to death during an attack in Colorado has spoken publicly about the encounter.
- Travis Kauffman said he initially tried to wrestle with the mountain lion, stab it with sticks and hit it in the head with a rock, but couldn’t stop the attack.
- He then managed to pin down the mountain lion’s neck with his foot, choking it to death.
- “I feel like I should go buy a bunch of lottery tickets… It’s a modern day man vs. nature scenario,” Kauffman said.
A Colorado man who choked a mountain lion to death after being attacked said he managed to survive by letting out a “barbarian yell” and jamming his foot into the animal’s neck.
Travis Kauffman was jogging alone on a trail in Horsetooth Mountain Park in Colorado on February 5 when he was attacked by a mountain lion, which he then killed without any weapons before heading to a hospital and getting 28 stitches.
He spoke publicly about the encounter this week, saying he will “never be able to live up to the reputation” that his fight has created.
Kauffman, 31, said he heard the bushes rustle behind him, and was “pretty bummed to see a mountain lion chasing after me,” when he turned around.
The cat then lunged at him, grabbing on to his hand and wrist and clawing at his face and neck, Kauffman said.
“That’s when my fear response turned into more of a fight response, because I realised how close it was getting to my eyes and I got a claw in my lip.”
Kauffman said that he tried to throw the mountain lion off him, causing them to take “a little tumble down the south side of the trail.” They then “had a little wrestling match.”
Kauffman said he was able to get on top of the animal and pin it down while he tried to find sticks to stab it with. When the sticks kept breaking, he tried to hit it with a large rock, he said.
“It was pretty heavy and it was kind of hard to wield. And I tried to give it a few bashes in the back of the head.
After giving the mountain lion “two pretty good blows to the back of the head,” Kauffman said he realised he was “going to have to do something a little more drastic.”
“I was able to shift my weight and get a foot on its neck. And at that point I stepped on it, on its neck with my right foot.”
The animal continued to thrash, he said, but eventually stopped moving, and its jaws opened. “I was able to kind of scramble back up the hill and get the heck out of dodge.”
Kauffman said he was a “bloody mess” when he got to the hospital in a separate interview with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“I think it’s one of those really weird sensational stories – super rare,” he said. “I feel like I should go buy a bunch of lottery tickets … It’s a modern day man vs. nature scenario.”
“I will never be able to live up to the reputation,” he said. “The story is bigger than my puny form.”
Kauffman said that he wouldn’t stop jogging on the trails, but advised other runners to stay vigilant and avoid using headphones.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said that Kauffman did not break any bones or suffer any tendon damage, Denver 7 reported.
CPW said the mountain lion was less than a year old and had died of suffocation, according to the outlet.