Colorado Man Attacked by Mountain Lion, Hits It With Pocketknife and Rocks: 'I Had an Eerie Feeling That Night'

A man who managed to fight off a mountain lion using a pocketknife has described his relief that he was not seriously injured during the encounter.

Richard Marriott, from Evergreen, Colorado, was attacked by the animal while he was out looking for places to hunt elk around the Big Horn Park in Kremmling on the evening of August 10.

Marriott was able to defend himself with his pocketknife by stabbing the animal in the face as it came towards him.

Speaking to Sky-Hi News, Marriott said the male lion only left him with a minor cut to one of his legs after he swiped at him. Marriott was on the ground at the time after tripping over a log while trying to slowly back away from the cat.

"I can't believe it actually happened," he said. "I'm lucky it didn't get a lot worse.

"It was kind of weird because I had an eerie feeling that night. It's just funny how your instinct comes into play; I don't even really know what you call it."

Marriott described how he heard the lion approaching him from behind while he was walking through the woods, but originally thought it was just a deer. He then saw the mountain lion swerving through the trees after him.

"At that point, I'm going, 'Oh crap, is this really happening?'"

Marriott said he usually takes a pistol out with him when he goes into the woods, but decided he wouldn't need it this time. Instead, all he had with him was a pocketknife which was so small that it had "virtually no point."

After tripping over a log, the large cat came up to Marriott, who thought it would surely pounce on him.

"But luckily, it came up and just kind of swiped my leg," he said. "In all honesty, I think it was curious."

Marriott said he then hit the lion in the face with the knife, before throwing rocks at it to scare it off after it retreated.

He said that it would have been a lot easier he had a firearm with him as usual.

"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."

After reporting the attack, Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed that they tracked down the mountain lion the next morning and killed it, Sky-Hi news reported at the time.

Mike Porras, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said that Marriott "absolutely" did the right thing by attempting to defend himself with the knife rather than try to run away from the animal.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a list of advice on what to do if you see a mountain animal in the wild on their website, including stay calm, make yourself look big and "throw stones, branches or whatever you can get your hands on without crouching down or turning your back" if the animal becomes aggressive.

mountain lion
File photo of a North American Mountain Lion. A man attacked by a mountain lion survived after stabbing the animal with a pocketknife Mike Simons/Getty