A mother fought with a mountain lion as the cat was mauling her son. She prised open the cat’s jaws with her bare hands. The mountain lion was on top of her son. She had tried to pull the animal off but the cat had the boy’s head in its mouth.
Having successfully fought off the mountain lion she scooped up her son and ran. At the same time her husband came back from a run. He jumped in the car with his son and drove them to hospital calling 911 at the same time. The boy is okay. He is in fair condition with injuries to his neck, head and face and has been transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Aspen.
The boy’s mother has scratches and a bite to her hand which are quite light injuries considering what she did. The attack took place at around 8 pm while the boy was playing in the front yard of his home with his older brother in Pitkin County, Colorado, USA.
Sadly, subsequently two mountain lions were shot by law enforcement officers from the US Forest Service. It is the policy of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department to shoot dead mountain lions involved in attacks. However, as far as I’m aware, they didn’t know for certain that either of the two mountain lions that they have shot were involved in the attack. One was seen near the site of the attack and assumed to be guilty.
The sheriff’s office said in a statement:
“The mother ran outside, saw the mountain lion on her son and was able to physically remove her son from the mountain lion.”
The last known attack in Colorado occurred in July 2015. A young mountain lion attacked a man as he was fishing in a remote area of Northwest Colorado. Over the decades, mountain attacks are rare and fatalities are even rarer. As I recall there being only 18 fatalities in over a hundred years. It is possible to frighten away a mountain lion. I have a page on how to deal with Mountain Lion attacks.
What can we learn from this story? The First thing we can learn is that it is possible to deal with a mountain lion attack without killing the mountain lion as this woman did. It is possible to beat a mountain lion in a fight. Not all mountain lions are at the top end of the weight and size scale. They can be quite retiring and shy creatures and unfortunately they sometimes wander into suburban areas because people have built settlements in what was once mountain lion territory.
I’m sad that the boy was attacked and I’m impressed by the mother who saved him. There is no certainty by the way that the boy would have been killed by the mountain lion but that does not take away from the mother’s courage. I am also sad that two mountain lions had to be shot without any firm evidence that they were involved and disappointed that it is the policy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife to shoot mountain lions if suspected of being involved in attacking people.
It is an example of mountain lions and people being drawn together when they should be apart. The reason for this is the activities of people and it has nothing to do with the mountain lion.