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Runner fights off, kills mountain lion in Colorado park

Fort Collins, Colo. -- A man is recovering after he fought off and killed a mountain lion that attacked him during a trail run in northern Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Rebecca Ferrell tells The Coloradoan the man was running alone when he was attacked from behind Monday afternoon at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, a mountain park some 66 miles northwest of Denver, near Fort Collins.

The runner, whose name has not been released, fought off the cougar, hiked out of the area and drove himself to a hospital.

He suffered facial cuts, wrist injuries and puncture wounds to his arms, legs and back. The bites were severe, the Reuters news agency says.

Wildlife officers searching the trail found the juvenile mountain lion's body near several of the runner's possessions.  It will be taken to a lab for a necropsy, reports CBS Denver.

Authorities didn't immediately say how the runner killed the animal.

"The runner did everything he could to save his life. In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did,"  Mark Leslie, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region manager, told the station.

Since 1990, there have been 16 wounds as a result of mountain lion attacks, and three fatalities in Colorado, CBS Denver adds. The last such attack in the state was reported in June 2016.

"Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado and it is unfortunate that the lion's hunting instincts were triggered by the runner," Reuters quotes Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for the CPW, as saying in a statement. "This could have had a very different outcome."

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