Wild Encounters

cougar stalking

We all love getting outdoors, but there is a level of respect we must keep in mind when entering these wild spaces.

Trail runner attacked by mountain lion kills animal with bare hands

The Attack

A man was running by himself on Monday in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins, Colorado when he heard a noise behind him. When he turned around, an 80-pound mountain lion attacked him. The lion bit the man in the face and the wrist but the man managed to break free and fight back, choking the mountain lion to death.

The Aftermath

The runner suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. He was taken to the hospital and has since been released. A necropsy confirmed that the animal suffocated to death and aged the lion at less than a year old. Mountain lion attacks are rare. Fewer than 20 people have been killed in North America by mountain lions in the past century. In the rare event of a mountain lion attack, people are encouraged to fight back.

Man found in Smokies died of meth overdose before being eaten by bear

The (double) Attack

Search crews found an adult black bear aggressively scavenging a body and park officials made the decision to euthanize the bear. The autopsy of William Lee Hill, Jr. of Louisville, Tennessee showed “extensive postmortem animal predation” but found no evidence that Hill was attacked while he was alive. Hill had a history of drug use, and his body was found near syringes and other drug paraphernalia.

The Aftermath

An autopsy has revealed that the man whose body was found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park last year died of an accidental meth overdose before being partially eaten by a bear. Hill became separated from a friend on September 7, 2018 while illegally hunting for ginseng. Four days later his body was found in a wooded area off of Rich Mountain Road in Townsend, TN.

Texas coyote attacks runners for the sixth time

The Attack

Police in Frisco, Texas have issued an alert to runners after a coyote emerged from the brush in the area between Eldorado Parkway and Tangerine Lane and bit a runner. Between October and December, there were five other coyote attacks, all along the same two-mile stretch of the Eldorado Parkway.

The latest runner attacked was able to fight off the coyote and was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The Aftermath

Though police can’t determine if the same coyote is involved in each attack, they all took place in the same place, around the same time of day, and with the same details. A private contractor has been hired to catch the coyote and the police have created a website where the public can report coyote sightings.


Hiker escapes cougar by hitting it with an ax

The Attack

A hiker in British Columbia who was stalked by a mountain lion escaped by hitting it with an ax, officials say. The man was hiking in a remote area that has little public access and was not on a hiking trail when the cougar began following him. The hiker reportedly jumped over a log to escape and that’s when the cougar came after him and the man hit it with a hatchet.

The Aftermath

The man left the scene quickly but when he looked back the cougar was still there, though it did not follow him down the mountain. Conservation officers with a dog team searched the area the following morning and did pick up on the cougar’s scent but could not locate the animal. Officials say that it is rare for cougars to approach people and the cougar may have just been curious. The hiker was not injured.