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A group of hikers survived an attack by a mountain lion on a trail near Steamboat Springs, Colorado over the weekend.
9News reports that the lion charged the four hikers, pawed at their dogs, and then bared its fangs before jumping on top of a large boulder. The group fought back with sticks and rocks until the big cat fled. No one in the hiking party was injured.
Mountain lion attacks are exceedingly rare in the U.S.; since 2010, state agencies have recorded a total of just 12 attacks. The opportunistic ambush cats (also known as cougars) tend to be most active in the pre-dawn hours and are usually skittish around humans. Biologists speculate that mountain lions only turn aggressive when defending a cub and/or when food is abnormally scarce within the animal’s home range.
Read more: 9News