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Caught Without His Gun, Jogger Chokes Mountain Lion to Death

Now THAT is a headline! Actually, the headline that caught my eye was: Trail runner was attacked by a mountain lion. He suffocated it to death in self-defense, wildlife officials say.

I don’t know who writes headlines at USA Today, but clearly my headlines are better. And … don’t judge me for reading USA Today. When you see a headline that implies some guy choked out a mountain lion, you stop and read the story.

Peaceful Jog Turns Deadly

Here’s the deal: Our hero was out for a jog in a popular park near Fort Collins, Colorado, on Feb. 4, 2019. He heard a noise behind him and turned just in time to get bit in the face by a lunging lion. Not wanting to become dinner, the intrepid jogger said to himself, “I guess I’m fighting a mountain lion today.”

He may or may not have said that aloud; I am just assuming. The point of this is, as with any predatory attack, the victim did not choose the time and place of the encounter. The victim simply responded to the sudden violent assault.

After being bitten in the face and deciding that immediate action was needed to survive, the jogger was apparently bitten through the wrist. I may be making some assumptions again, but I think the giant fang through the wrist may have inspired this fitness nut to a higher level of action. Apparently, at that point, he had had enough and somehow was able to apply a rear naked choke. Or maybe it was a front headlock scissor choke, I don’t know. I wish there were some video of this.

What I do know is this: The mountain lion was most assuredly not sitting still allowing this to happen. I don’t know what kind of monumental effort it takes to choke a big cat to death, but that is something I don’t want to try. Think wild clawing, insane twisting and those crazy mountain lion screams (at least until the man ran the choke deep enough to silence the crazed animal). My question is once you have the choke applied, how long do you hold it? At some point the runner had to be thinking, “I’m bleeding. I need medical help. But if I let go now will this (expletive deleted) come back to life?”

Really, I’m Not Lyin’

So I guess after a suitable amount of time on the ground, the runner decided he could release the cat. Then he had to walk back to his car and drive himself to the hospital!

This is where I assume the story gets surreal. Again, I wasn’t there in the hospital, but I’m guessing the guy tells the doctors he has been attacked by a lion. The doctors call the game wardens, because, you know, wild animals and all, and the victim says to the wardens, “I dropped some stuff on the trail during the fight. Could you guys go back up there and get it for me?”

“Yeah,” say the wardens. “It is standard protocol to go look for the lion. We dispatch any animals that attack humans.”

“Yeah, about that,” says the jogger. “Pretty sure the lion is still lying in the trail where I killed it.”

“Wait. What? You killed it? How?

“Choked it out. What else could I do?”

No matter how great a story this is — no matter how many people buy this guy drinks for the rest of his life when he tells this story in bars all over Colorado — no matter what, I still say the guy should have had a gun.

Concealed carry … because you never want to fight a mountain lion with your bare hands.

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