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Runner kills mountain lion after animal attacked him in Colorado

A mountain lion lunged at a trail runner in Colorado. Credit: AP

A man who was attacked by a mountain lion while running on a park trail in northern Colorado fought back and killed the animal by choking it.

The trail runner, who has not been named, sustained serious injuries after he was bitten on his face and wrist by the young male lion, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials.

He turned after hearing a noise behind him, just as the lion lunged and "he was able to break free, killing the lion in self-defence," officials say.

The cat died from suffocation, state wildlife officials have determined.

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The attack happened on the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins on Monday, the CPW confirmed.

"The lion lunged at the runner, biting his face and wrist. He was able to fight and break free from the lion, killing the lion in self-defence."

After killing the predator, the man was able to leave the park on his own and call for help.

The man was taken to hospital with serious injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.

In a statement, officials described the wounds to his face, wrist, arms, legs and back as "serious, but non-life threatening".

"The runner did everything he could to save his life," said Mark Leslie, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region manager.

"In the event of a lion attack you need to do anything in your power to fight back just as this gentleman did," he added.