Mountain lion killed after attacking hunter near Kremmling |

Mountain lion killed after attacking hunter near Kremmling

If you encounter a mountain lion, make noise, make yourself appear larger and don’t approach it. If a lion behaves aggressively, throw objects at it and fight back if it attacks.
Courtesy Photo

KREMMLING — A man attacked by a mountain lion Saturday night near Kremmling did everything right when he fought back and stabbed the animal with a pocketknife, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Friday.

The man was reportedly attacked around 9 p.m. while scouting out places to hunt elk around the Big Horn Park subdivision northeast of Kremmling. Authorities and their hounds tracked down the mountain lion at about 7 a.m. the next morning and killed it.

A necropsy revealed the mountain lion had only grass in his stomach, indicating the animal was hungry, said Mike Porras, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Relaying details of the incident, Porras said the hunter saw the mountain lion before it attacked him. Upon spotting the animal, the hunter walked backwards slowly for about 200 yards until he tripped and fell and the mountain lion pounced.

The cat swiped at the hunter’s legs and caused minor injuries. Meanwhile, the hunter had a pocketknife with him and fought back by stabbing the mountain lion in the face, Porras said.

The following morning, authorities tracked the mountain lion, found it about 100 yards from where the attack occurred and killed the animal.

Porras said the mountain lion acted especially aggressive when authorities found it and even fought with the hounds that tracked him instead of running away, which is the typical reaction.

While the necropsy revealed the cat was likely hungry, it also showed the mountain lion, a young adult male, was in a good, healthy condition, Porras said.

With such a robust population of mountain lions in Colorado and so many people venturing into the backcountry, Porras hopes people will get educated about how to handle such encounters before going out.

Like the hunter, Porras said, someone should never turn around and run from a mountain lion. It’s much better to stay facing the animal and slowly back away, he explained.

When the cat pounced, the hunter fought back with whatever he had, in this case a pocketknife, and that was exactly what he should have done, Porras continued.

“So absolutely, he did everything right,” Porras said, adding that there was a mountain lion sighting in the subdivision about a week before the attack.

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