Mom saves daughter from clutches of a hungry mountain lion.
A 4-year-old girl is lucky to be alive after a terrifying attack by a mountain lion while camping Friday in Idaho.
The girl was with her mother, siblings and cousins near Green Canyon Hot Springs in the Rexburg area when the girl’s mother thought she caught a glance of the big cat during dinner. But the sighting was quick and from the corner of her eye. It was something that didn’t raise any immediate concerns.
“Nobody else thought much of it and, a short time later, her mom went to put the four-year-old in the tent for a nap,” the girl’s grandfather, Jim Sevy told East Idaho News.
The camping trip took a terrifying turn soon after when the mother took the rest of the children to use the bathroom. It was then that the girl left her tent looking for her shoe. It’s also when the mountain lion apparently saw an opportunity.
“That’s when the mountain lion grabbed her and started carrying her away,” Sevy told East Idaho News.
Luckily, the mother was able to chase the lion off almost as quickly as it attacked. According to a blog post by the girl’s grandmother, the big cat may have overestimated the size of its chosen prey. At 36 pounds, the girl was heavier than it expected and the lion was having some trouble dragging her away.
She was treated for scratches and bite marks at a local medical center. She also received shots for rabies.
Sevy realizes how fortunate they are with the way things turned out. “It could have gone the other way so easily,” Sevy told East Idaho News. “She could have been gone and we would have never seen her. You really have to keep your eyes open when you’re out camping.”
Idaho Fish and Game agrees with that last statement. Spokesman Gregg Losinski also commented on the subject. “When lions do attack, records indicate that small children are often the targets,” Losinski said. “This family showed how vigilance and quick thinking can help avert a tragedy.”
As for the mountain lion that attacked the girl, authorities acted quickly upon receiving the report of the attack. A conservation officer and local hound hunter treed and euthanized a young female mountain lion with the help of local county sheriffs.
The lion was found just a few hundred yards from the camp where the attack occurred. According to a blog post from the girl’s grandmother, it weighed 93 pounds. The incident has also earned the little girl a new nickname that will likely last a lifetime: “Puma Princess.”
Let’s all use this incident as a reminder to remain vigilant when enjoying the great outdoors. You never know what may happen while you’re out in the wild.