21 July 2009

Former Marine fights off mountain lion with chain saw

That's gotta be the best headline evah.

Man Says He Used Chainsaw to Fight Starving Mountain Lion
Friday, July 17, 2009

CODY, Wyoming — A Colorado man used a chain saw to fight off a mountain lion that attacked him during a camping trip with his wife and two toddlers in northwestern Wyoming.

The adult male lion, described as emaciated and showing other signs of starvation, was later killed by wildlife officials after it attacked a dog brought in to track it.

Dustin Britton, a 32-year-old mechanic and ex-Marine from Windsor, Colo., said he was alone cutting firewood about 100 feet from his campsite in the Shoshone National Forest when he saw the 100-pound lion staring at him from some bushes.

The 6-foot, 170-pound Britton said he raised his 18-inch chain saw and met the lion head-on as it pounced — a collision he described as feeling like a grown man running directly into him.

The wounded animal retreated after Britton inflicted a six- to eight-inch gash on the lion's shoulder, leaving him with only a small puncture wound on his forearm.

"You would think if you hit an animal with a chain saw it would dig right in," he said. "I might as well have hit it with a hockey stick."

After the confrontation, Britton and his wife, Kirsta, decided to spend the night in their pop-up camper with their two children rather than risk packing up with the lion still on the loose.

The family later carried on with their vacation, continuing to camp at sites in Wyoming and Montana.

Mountain lions are normally highly reclusive and sightings are rare. I was lucky enough to see one during my last trip to the same area of Wyoming in May. It was about 100 yards away from our cabin, but just passing through, minding its own business.

Anyway, crikey!

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