Travis Kauffman’s routine morning jog turned into a battle of life and death when he was suddenly attacked by a mountain lion on the trail.
The 31-year-old fitness enthusiast said that the attack was a shock, but it won’t stop him from continuing his runs… though he may do so with a partner from now on.
The details of the attack are cringe-inducing.
According to CBS. Kauffman said that as he was jogging along, he heard some underbrush rustling behind him and as he turned he saw the dangerous beast stalking him.
The runner said that he tried waving his arms and yelling to scare the animal away, but instead of turning away, the big cat leaped at him and sunk its teeth into his wrist.
“It was going up towards my face so I threw up my hands to kind of block my face, at which point it grabbed onto my hand and wrist and from there it started to claw at my face and neck. And that’s when kind of my fear response turned into more of a fight response,” Kauffman said.
As man and mountain lion engaged in battle, the two fell off the south side of the trail, “From there it was just a wrestling match.”
“Was there any point where you thought, ‘I’m going to lose this battle?’ Or were you sure you had a handle on it?” asked CBS4’s Leary.
“Toward the beginning, I was not very sure,” said Kauffman.
“It was mostly the fact that whenever its claws or teeth sink in, they seem to stay. So it was like a matter of like pulling it off but everything wanted to just completely stay clamped down,” said Kauffman. “As we rolled down the hill, it just kept on thrashing and claws were kind of flying around.”
Kauffman finally was able to maneuver the cat into a position where it could not move its head. Kauffman eventually won the vicious battle by suffocating the animal.
“I was hoping that I could kind of get in a few hits on it and then convince it to scram but it was still really aggressive the whole time and really latched onto my wrist and didn’t release until the moment it finally suffocated,” Kauffman told the media.
Eventually, after the mountain lion was dead, Kauffman stumbled off until he came across people who could help get him to a hospital.
Kauffman is still recovering from the February 4 attack and he is lucky to be alive.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.