'Mountain Man' Kills Mountain Lion With His Bare Hands
Date Posted: Friday, February 15th, 2019
Kauffman grabbed a rock with his free hand and beat the cat on the back of the head. He also tried stabbing it with twigs, but nothing worked.
"I knew with two pretty good blows to the back of the head (and) it didn't release, that I was probably going to have to do something a little more drastic," he said. "I was able to kind of shift my weight and get a foot on its neck" until it succumbed.
Bleeding from his face and wrist, he jogged back down the trail, where he met other runners who got him to a hospital.
"I was just thankful that he had his eyes and his fingers and all his parts, and it didn't look as bad as I maybe would have thought that it could," said his girlfriend, Annie Bierbower.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers retrieved the dead cat. They said their investigation and a necropsy confirmed Kauffman's account.
"Travis is a pretty amazing young man," said Ty Petersburg, a wildlife manager for the agency.
Kauffman was the 22nd person attacked by a mountain lion in Colorado since 1990, Parks and Wildlife said. Three of the attacks were fatal.
A necropsy report said the lion that attacked Kauffman was male, four or five months old, weighing 35 to 40 pounds (16 to 18 kilograms). The cat had limited fat, indicating it was hungry but not starving. It showed no sign of rabies or other diseases, the report said, but many of its organs had been scavenged by other animals before the body was recovered.
Adult male mountain lions average about 150 pounds, Parks and Wildlife said.
Petersburg said officers set up cameras and traps in the area for several days after the attack. They saw no large mountain lions but captured two young ones in good health. He said both are in a rehabilitation center, and the agency hopes to release them back into the wild.
Kauffman, an environmental consultant, described himself as an avid runner, cyclist and skier who has a pet cat at home. He said he doesn't plan to retreat from the outdoors.
"I will go run those trails again," he said, but added, "I will go with a buddy there."
Date Posted: Friday, February 15th, 2019 , Total Page Views: 1042