Trail runner describes near-deadly mountain lion attack

Travis Kauffman, 31, said he stepped on the cougar's neck to asphyxiate it after encountering the animal on a trail in Colorado.
2:22 | 02/15/19

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Transcript for Trail runner describes near-deadly mountain lion attack
with the amazing survival story. A jogger who fended off a mountain lion with his bare hands is now speaking out for the first time. ABC's Clayton Sandell joins us from Denver. This one, Clayton, no easy feat. Reporter: That's right, Cecilia. Good morning. Travis Kauffman is an avid outdoorsman and never jogged this particular trail before. It was his first time. When the mountain lion appeared it was almost his last. For the first time Travis Kauffman telling his story about a jog through the mountains turning into a fight for his life. I ended up hearing some pine needles rustle like a stick break and I turned around and just was pretty bummed out to see a mountain lion chasing after me. So I stopped and I threw my hands up in the air and I started shouting, unfortunately, the shouts didn't deter it so it just kind of kept running and lunged at me. Reporter: The young mountain lion about fou feet long weighing 50 pounds locking on to his hand and wrist clawing at his face and neck. That's when kind of my fear response turned into more of a fight response, because I realized how close I was getting to my eyes. Reporter: The 31-year-old refusing to give up striking the animal with sticks and a large rock. Unfortunately, I just had a tough time swinging it with my arm still locked into the cat's jaws. Reporter: Finally getting the upper hand. Another couple of minutes later it finally, finally stving and then jaws opened and I was able to kind of scramble back up the hill and get the heck out of dodge. Reporter: Kauffman ended up with nearly 30 stitches and a reputation rivaling chuck Norris. Chuck would have come out without a scratch. Reporter: Experts say Kauffman did everything right when the cat appeared. Their advice, don't run. Raise your arms to look bigger, face the cat and talk firmly and if it attacks fight. The mountain lion attacks are so extremely rare, Kauffman says he may start playing the lottery. He also says he will run on that trail again but next time he'll probably bring a buddy and maybe a knife. Guys. Clayton, you're making me nervous standing out there. What a story, though. I mean, wow.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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