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Man Who Stopped A Mountain Lion Attack With Bare Hands Breaks Silence

If there's anything more fascinating than the power of adrenaline, it's how unpredictable it can be. When it kicks in, we can suddenly be empowered to face situations that would normally reduce us to panicky messes with an eerie calm.

Not only that, but it can sometimes be powerful enough to allow us achieve what should normally seem impossible.

We've sometimes heard about parents lifting cars off their children in moments where adrenaline worked its magic, but it allowed one man to survive a situation he never imagined he would experience.

Five years ago, 31-year-old Travis Kauffman moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to embrace the great outdoors and get more exercise.

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And until February 4, that was exactly what he got out of his frequent runs. But as CNN reported, he heard pine needles rustle behind him that day.

At first, he was going to ignore it because he figured it was a small, harmless animal. But something in the back of his mind compelled him to turn around.

When he did, Kauffman spotted a mountain lion about 10 feet away.

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As he told Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Monday, "I just kind of had my heart sink into my stomach a little bit."

Still, he didn't let the fear paralyze him. Instead, he raised his arms and started yelling to try and scare the creature away.

However, the mountain lion was not deterred and pounced on him. Suddenly, Kauffman's wrist was in its jaws.

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He held his arms in front of his face because the puma kept scratching at it and tried to throw the animal off of him.

This made both of them tumble off the slope and struggle to gain leverage on each other.

During the struggle, Kauffman managed to hold the mountain lion's legs down and started hitting it with sticks and rocks.

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Yet, no matter how hard he fought, the animal refused to let go of his wrist.

As he said in the interview, "It really clicked after I hit it in the head with a rock, and it still didn't release my wrist, that at that point, more drastic measures were necessary."

This drastic measure turned out to involve forcing his foot down on the mountain lion's neck until it suffocated and finally released him.

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Despite injuries that, as he said in the interview, he figured would cost him the use of his fingers, he continued running for three more miles to get help.

According to CNN, he eventually found someone to drive him to a hospital, where he received 19 stitches in his cheeks, six on the bridge of his nose, and three in his wrist.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife would later discover, to Kauffman's good fortune, that the puma tested negative for rabies.

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It was also about four or five months old and weighed between 35 and 40 pounds.

Jeff Corwin, host of ABC's Ocean Treks, told CNN that an attack like this is very rare.

He said, "We can count on our hands the very few people killed or injured by a mountain lion in the last century."

Corwin also said that Kauffman's only option was facing the animal the way he did.

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As he said, "If he had fled, it would have triggered the predatory pursuit response of this mountain lion."

This would have put Kauffman at even more of a disadvantage than he already began in the situation in.

Kauffman said that part of the reason he hesitated before speaking out about this is that he figured he wouldn't live up to the event's reputation.

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As he said in the interview, "The story is bigger than my puny form, so yeah."

Kauffman also said he has zero experience with martial arts or wrestling.

He told reporters, "There was a certain point where I just kind of imagined being stuck on this hillside and eventually just having a cat gnaw at me, which is a creepy way to go. But, for the most part, the adrenaline just kept kicking in at those moments."

h/t: CNN

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