By Michael Emanuele
His name is Travis Kauffman, and he is the trail runner from Colorado that survived a mountain lion attack. The lion that attacked him was not so fortunate. In saving his own life, Travis had no choice but to kill the lion by suffocation.
On February 4, 2019, Travis was trail running on a remote trail just outside of Fort Collins Colorado. He was several miles from the trailhead. He suddenly heard a noise behind him and turned to investigate. There he saw the lion, he threw his hands in the air and yelled. This did not deter the young lion from attacking him.
The cat lunged at him taking hold of his wrist in his jaws. The two tumbled off the trail and the fight ensued. Travis tried stabbing the clenching and scratching cat with sticks, but they were brittle and broke. He picked up a rock and deliver a few blows to the lion’s head, but still no effect. Finally, after a couple of minutes of wrestling with the cat, he could get it on its back, he then could then step on the cat’s neck and suffocate the animal.
He then had to run several miles back towards the trailhead. He finally met up with some other runners that could get him to the hospital and receive treatment.
Travis is in fantastic spirits and he will be back out on the trails soon. He is a sharp, intelligent young man, who has had a very traumatic experience. Mountain lion attacks are very rare but real. His advice is to run with a buddy and don’t wear earbuds.
Injuries – 20+ facial stitches, wrist stitches, puncture wounds to his neck and legs.