A family camping trip in Idaho turned tragic when a mountain lion attacked a 4-year-old girl, according to Fox 2 Now.
In the evening of Friday, August 12, a family – whose names have not been released – was having dinner at a campsite “near Green Canyon Hot Springs east of Rexburg” when they spotted a mountain lion from afar, but “nobody thought much of it.”
Just shortly after the mother put her 4-year-old daughter in the tent for a nap and went into the woods with her son, 6, to use the restroom, she heard a scream – it was her daughter.
!!!— Catelli (@Catelli_NQU) August 14, 2016
"four-year-old girl who was snatched up by a mountain lion Friday night is recovering from the scary encounter"https://t.co/kv92zHXhR9
Apparently, the girl left the tent in search of her shoe and that’s when the mountain lion reportedly snatched and attacked the girl.
Her mother arrived just in time as the mountain lion was dragging the child away; after “chasing the cougar, the cat released the child before running away.”
The girl sustained “scratches and bite marks on her stomach and arm” during the mountain lion attack and was taken to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where she received “rabies shots and injections in her puncture wounds.”
“She is doing okay. Her great-grandpa gave her a priesthood blessing and told her she will have stories to tell,” spokesperson Jim Sevy said.
Sevy added that the attack could have gone awry. The child could have been taken by the mountain lion and her parents would have never seen her alive again.
“You really have to keep your eyes open when you’re out camping.”
Gregg Losinski, who is the Fish and Game spokesperson, said when the family saw the mountain lion earlier in the day, it was “highly unusual” and should have been a sign to stay alert.
“When the cat appeared later in the evening and attempted to snatch the child, the family began yelling at the cougar and it dropped the girl and fled.
“When lions do attack, records indicate that small children are often the targets. This family showed how vigilance and quick thinking can help avert a tragedy.”
Although the National Park Services states that it is rare that a mountain lion will attack as they are known to be “calm, quiet, and elusive,” it is suggested that you should “never hike alone” and “keep children close to you at all times.”
If you should ever come in close proximity of a mountain lion, you should do the following:
- Stay calm
- Do not approach a lion
- Do not run from a lion
- Do not crouch down or bend over
If a mountain lion is headed in your direction, you should “do all that you can to appear intimidating.”
“Attempt to appear larger by raising your arms and opening your jacket if you are wearing one. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice,” NPS continued. “If looking bigger doesn’t scare the mountain lion off, start throwing stones, branches, or whatever you can reach in its direction without crouching or turning your back.
“Don’t throw things at it just yet. There is no need to unnecessarily injure the mountain lion.
“With that said, your safety is of the utmost importance and the National Park Service won’t necessarily prosecute you for harassment of wildlife if something you throw at an aggressive mountain lion does make contact.
“During the initial stages of a mountain lion encounter, the idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.”
Andrew Sorensen, who is Idaho’s Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer, and hound hunter Mike Pimentel are working together to capture the mountain lion that attacked the 4-year-old girl.
[Photo by iStock Photo]