A Colorado man says he was able to fight off a lion mountain attack thanks to his pocketknife.
Sky-Hi News reported that the man, identified as Richard Marriott, was attacked around 9 p.m. on Aug. 10 near Kremmling, Colorado. He said he saw the animal and walked backward about 200 yards, but tripped and fell. The mountain lion swiped his leg, he said.
Marriott told Sky-Hi News he thinks the attack lasted about 10 minutes. He initially thought it was a deer rustling in the woods before realizing it was a mountain lion. He slashed it in the face when it attacked him.
“I didn’t really hit it that great, but I got it enough the cat knew I wasn’t going to lay there and have him devour me,” Marriott said.
The pocketknife attack gave Marriott more distance from the animal, and he threw rocks at its head, scaring it off.
“I can’t believe it actually happened,” he told Sky-Hi News Sunday. “I’m lucky it didn’t get a lot worse.”
Marriott said he typically brings his gun with him when he goes into the wood, but he didn't think he'd need it that time since he only planned on being out for a few hours.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said Marriott did everything right when he stabbed the animal with the pocketknife when he was attacked.
Marriott said it may have turned out differently had he brought his pistol.
“I think I would have been able to give it a warning shot and hopefully it would have ran off,” he said. “That’s what I kind of take from all of this. When I go into the field now, I need to make sure I have my sidearm.”
Marriott went out the next day with wildlife officials, who tracked down the mountain lion with hounds and shot it.
Porras said the lion was unusually aggressive with the hounds and fought them, rather than running away as mountain lions typically do. The lion's aggression with humans meant he had to be put down, Sky-Hi News reported.
KCNC reported that a necropsy revealed the mountain lion, a young male, only had grass in his stomach and may have been hungry when he attacked.
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