Travis Kauffman, 31, outed himself as the man who choked out a mountain lion.
“I stopped and turned,” Kauffman told KUNC radio. “In the back of my mind I always wonder if it’s something dangerous like a bear or a bobcat or a mountain lion, and in this case it was in fact a mountain lion.”
He said he tried to scare off the animal by putting up his arms and screaming at it, but the mountain lion charged at him and pounced.
The lion weighed about 80 pounds, sunk a tooth into his wrist and another into his thumb.
As he struggled with the animal, they both tumbled off the trail.
“But during that fall, the cat ended up on its back and it still had my wrist this whole time in its mouth,” Kauffman told the radio station.
He was able to pin the animal’s hind legs down with his body, then he picked up a rock and started hitting the cat in the head.
“There was a point,” he conceded, “where I was concerned I wasn’t going to make it out.” But managing to free himself, he then raced several miles back to safety on what he called a “fear high.” Along the way, he encountered a few helpful people, one of whom drove him to a hospital.
“I got my right foot onto its neck,” he said. “And then I was able to get some weight onto its windpipe and that’s what eventually suffocated it.”
Doctors gave him more than two dozen stitches and a brace for his wrist, the radio station reported.
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