A man was running near Horsetooth Reservoir, close to Fort Collins, when he heard a sound behind him. He turned, and a mountain lion lunged at him, biting his face and wrist.

This is super rare. No Coloradan has been killed by a mountain lion since a 10 year old got mauled in 1997; only about 20 Americans died have been killed by mountain lions in the last 100 years.

But even more unusual is what happened next.

The runner fought back. And won. Killed the cougar.

Details are scarce. But the cat died from suffocation, state wildlife officials said.

Meaning the dude strangled a mountain lion to death.

After choking out the cat Monday, the runner left the lion on the trail and got himself to a hospital.

Wildlife officials said the mountain lion, a juvenile weighing 80 pounds, was found on the West Ridge Trail.

“Mountain lion attacks are not common in Colorado, and it is unfortunate that the lion’s hunting instincts were triggered by the runner,” Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a press release.

There is a healthy mountain lion population in Colorado. 

photo - mountain lion

[Photos of mountain lions from Shutterstock.]

"In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did,” said Mark Leslie, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region manage.

Thanks for the advice Mark. Next time we're attacked by a mountain lion, we'll be sure to kick its ass.