'I'm no match for a mountain lion': Runner chased down in state park

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by Kens5.com Staff

khou.com

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A park in Colorado Springs could be closed after two people encountered a mountain lion on Saturday.

The encounters happened at Cheyenne Mountain Park on the west side of Colorado Springs.

A spokesperson for the Department of Parks and Wildlife said the first encounter happened when a man was running on the Sundance Trail and came up on a mountain lion eating a deer carcass.

The man stood his ground, made some noise and backed away.

About 20 minutes later, another runner went past the same area and the mountain lion actually started to chase her.

"I'm screaming, but I don't think anyone heard me. I really thought he was going to attack me," said  Lindsey Grewe, a web producer for KKTV  in Colorado Springs. "I just had visions of it crossing through my mind that I was going to get eaten."

Grewe said about a minute prior to seeing the mountain lion she had passed two hikers. She said she was deep in thought when she heard a crunching sound behind her, but instead of a deer, Grewe said she was facing a 'giant' mountain lion. She said it was on an open trail with nothing between her and the animal stepping onto the path.

Grewe raised her arms to try to appear larger, then began to back away, and it appeared to be working. Then he crouched and lunged.

Grewe said she darted into the brush, hoping to put obstacles between her and the animal. She said she ran, scrambled and clawed her way through the woods. At one point she misstepped and  her kneecap went out of joint, but she glimpsed the mountain lion still in pursuit so she said she was forced to keep running in spite of the pain.

According to Grewe, the mountain lion would sometimes stop, but then go after her again, and she was getting desperate when she finally heard voices.

Luckily, the man who had first stumbled across the feeding mountain lion had notified park rangers, and their patrol put an end to the chase.

In an email, Grewe later said:

"I have NO idea why the mountain lion didn’t catch me.  I’m a fast runner, but no match for a mountain lion!  God looking out for me, I guess.  The rangers were stunned that the mountain lion got onto the trail like it did, because sightings are so rare, and they were equally stunned that it chased me as long as it did.  They speculate it was probably protecting a kill and trying to scare me away.  I think the other guy did see a deer carcass…I saw nothing when I encountered the mountain lion.  I think the mountain lion was further away from the trail when the first guy saw it, so that may be why I never saw the deer carcass."

Grewe said the state park is only about five minutes from her apartment, and that she runs the trails there often, sometimes four times in a week. She said the trail she was on that day was closest to the visitors center.

Grewe escaped with a sprained her knee, but is otherwise OK.

Park rangers and wildlife officers had plans to remove the deer carcass and try to find and kill the mountain lion. They said it was too aggressive to remain.

 

 

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