Utah Trail Runner Attacked by Mountain Lion, Friend Fights It Off With a Rock

by Megan Molseed
(Getty Images)

A woman has survived after being attacked by a mountain lion during an early morning trail run. The attack occurred in Utah’s Mill Creek Canyon when the runner came around the corner while jogging with a friend. Both women tried to back away as soon as the animal was within their sight. However, the lion lunged at the pair as one of the women fell backward.

The Woman Suffered Multiple Injuries In The Mill Creek Mountain Lion Attack

According to reports, the two trail runners were jogging the Mill Creek Pipeline Trail at around 8:30 a.m, Sunday morning. However, the peaceful run soon turned into a fight for their lives as the women turned a corner and came face to face with a cougar.

The women tried to back away. However, the jogger closest to the lion fell backward as the cougar lept towards the pair. The mountain lion clawed the fallen woman, leaving lacerations on her leg. Thankfully, the other jogger was thinking fast as she grabbed a rock and began to hit the cougar. The two women were then able to escape and hike back on the trail together.

The Resulting Injuries Are Non-Life-Threatening

As the women fled from the mountain lion they called 9-1-1. First responders were able to examine the woman and her wounds. Her friend eventually took the victim to the hospital. However, officials are quick to note that the injuries are non-life threatening.

The animal was tracked down by Sunday evening and euthanized by officials. However, the area where the attack occurred is still blocked off and wildlife experts request that people continue to avoid this spot as of now.

The Cougar Was Likely Startled By Joggers On The Trail

Experts note that it is “pretty rare” for mountain lions to attack people. And many believe that the attack occurred as the animal was startled by the two women coming around the corner Sunday morning.

WildAwareUtah.org notes that cougars are typically the most active around dawn and/or dusk. This is when mountain lions prefer to hunt. Experts recommend that people hike with partners and that they make enough noise to make their presence known to the wild animals in the area.

The website also notes that it’s important to head in the other direction when encountering a dead animal that may have been killed by a cougar. A fresh kill means the lion isn’t too far away.