The boy says he tried to punch the predator in the eye.
Throughout a horrifying series of events, an 8-year-old boy's natural instincts took center stage when he found himself trying to fight off a mountain lion just to stay alive.
Pike Carlson, of Bailey, Colorado, will surely have a story to tell for the rest of his life, which is just one of the rewards he can savor from surviving the attack.
According to a report from WFAA, he was with his older brother, Gage, in their family's backyard in a rural, mountainous region of Bailey when the 65-pound mountain lion attacked.
As soon as Gage ran inside for help, the boys' father, Ron, sprung into action without any hesitation, grabbing a knife on his way out the door. He now recalls that they'd never even though he'd never even seen a mountain lion near the home.
"The parental instinct to protect your child kind of kicks in," he said in the interview. "It never even entered my head that I was about to tangle with something that could kill me. All you know is you have to do something. It doesn't matter what happens to you, you've got to protect your children.
Despite being in a situation that would warrant an all-out panic from anyone, Pike was able to direct his dad's attention right to a feasible solution.
"He told me, 'Dad, all animals have a vulnerable spot: their eyeballs,'" Ron said. "So he picked up a stick that was underneath the tree and was reaching back trying to poke it in the eye."
When Ron got close, the mountain lion let go of Pike's head, giving the father and son a chance to escape to safety.
However, even though they escaped the attack, serious damage had already been done.
"When I first picked him up, I could see the whole side of his face was open," Ron said. "There was blood all over him. His scalp was ripped open in several spots. It was something that no parent should ever see."
The Carlson family wasted no time getting Pike help, rushing straight to the nearest fire staton, where paramedics from the Platte Canyon Fire Protection District could quickly transport him to Swedish hospital.
After two surgeries, dozens of stitches and staples and some delicate medical attention, Pike is alive and back to being a kid again.
However, similar to his parents, he hasn't forgotten the severity of the mountain lion attack.
"I was just punching, trying to grab anything that I can, like a stick," he said. "I did find a stick and I tried to get it in the eye, but soon the stick snapped.
"No one try to wrestle a mountain lion. It is a cheater."
Neighbors welcomed the Carlsons home with signs showing their support, also recognizing it could've happened to any of them.
While Pike is alive and well, he might still need another surgery to repair his left eyelid.
The family has set up a GoFundMe for anyone who wants to help with medical bills.
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