The brave mother of a 5-year-old boy is being hailed a hero this week after saving her son from a vicious attack by a mountain lion on Friday. The woman reportedly reached into the animal’s mouth and wrestled her son’s head from its jaws, according to the Aspen Times, citing a statement from the Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy on Saturday.
“She was able to pry the cat’s jaws open,” Pitkin County Deputy Michael Buglione was quoted as saying. “She’s a hero.”
The incident occurred Friday evening near the town of Aspen, Colorado. The boy was playing with his older brother in the garden, while his mother was inside the house. Suddenly she heard screaming, the report said, which caused her to immediately run outside where she saw a mountain lion attacking her son.
“The boy’s mother heard screaming coming from outside,” the statement explained. “The mother ran outside, saw the mountain lion on her son and was able to physically remove her son from the mountain lion. The boy sustained injuries to his face, head and neck. The mother sustained minor injuries to her hand and legs.”
The woman, whose identity was not released, did not panic and did not let go of the animal until her son was freed from the cougar’s jaws. She reportedly told deputies she grabbed one of the animal’s paws and stuck her right hand in its mouth to pry it open. Upon freeing her son’s head from the big cat’s mouth, she grabbed him and ran into the house.
The father of the family, who at the time of the attack had just returned from a run, got his wife and son into the car and drove them to the Aspen Valley Hospital. From there the boy was flown to a hospital in Denver.
The boy suffered very deep lacerations to the head and neck, according to ABC News, but his condition was not listed as being serious. His mother had bruises on the hands and feet. As of the time of this report, the hospital has not released further details about the boy’s condition, nor have they disclosed the identity of the family.
During the trip to the hospital, the father called 911 and reported everything. Buglione said the car with the child inside passed another deputy on his way to the hospital at a very high rate of speed. By the time deputies made it to the hospital, the father, the boy and the mother were already there, the report states.
After talking with the boy’s parents, Buglione and another officer met an official with the U.S. Forest Service law enforcement at the house. They were not surprised to find the animal still at the scene of the attack. The cat, which is believed to be around 2-years-old, was located under a tree near a cluster of toys and other items. The animal was shot.
“At the time, the assumption was it was sick or injured and needed to be put down,” Buglione told the publication.”It wasn’t a big cat, had it been a 110-pound lion — which I’ve seen around here — this would have been a much different story.”
According to Aspen Daily News, a second mountain lion was killed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials on Saturday following the boy’s attack. Officials noted that the second lion was located around 600 yards from the site of Friday’s attack. Mike Porras, CPW spokesman for the region, said Saturday that the second cat was put down around 1:30 p.m.
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