The mountain lion attack happened in the mother’s backyard
After hearing screams from her 5-year-old son, a Colorado mother fought off a mountain lion to save her little boy. Both thankfully survived the terrifying ordeal.
The unnamed mother was inside her home in the community of Lower Woody Creek, which is about 10 miles northwest of Aspen when she heard her youngest son screaming. He was playing in their yard with his older brother. Mom ran outside and found the animal on top of her youngest child, 9 News reported.
She yanked one of its paws only to discover the animal had her son’s entire head inside its mouth, according to ABC News. “She was able to pry the cat’s jaws open,” Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Buglione shared. “She’s a hero.” The Colorado mom continued to fight the mountain lion off until she could grab her son and run away.
The child’s dad got home from a run right when the attack happened and drove his wife and son to a nearby hospital. The little boy had deep cuts to his head, neck, and face and was flown from Aspen to Children’s Hospital in Denver. The brave mom had minor injuries to her hand and legs from the attack. Hospital staff treated her bites and scratches and released her.
Officials said the attack could have been much worse had the mountain lion been bigger and had the mom not rushed to save her son. “It wasn’t a big cat,” Buglione explained. “Had it been a 110-pound lion — which I’ve seen around here — this would have been a much different story.” Authorities estimated the cat to be about 2 years old. The New York Times shared a photo of the mountain lion officials believe was responsible in the attack. “If that animal engages, not just a lion, but a bear, you want to fight,” Matt Robbins with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. “You want to put up a resistance, and you want that animal to know that you’re not an easy prey. From what I understand from reports, she did absolutely the right thing.”
A U.S. Forest Service officer inspected the community and found the suspected mountain lion nearby. The animal was shot and killed. Mountain lions are part of life in Colorado as about 4,500 of them live in the state. But it’s unlikely any parent thinks they’ll one day go head to head with the dangerous cats. Clearly this mom’s love for her son propelled her to act quickly and bravely. Not everyone could be this strong and focused under the terrifying pressure of an attack. About three people have been killed in the state by mountain lion attacks since 1990, according to officials. “They’re wild animals. They find habitat where they can forage for food,” Matt Robbins said. “If you have deer, there is a good chance you’ll find mountain lions.”
The last person to be attacked by a mountain lion was a man who was fishing in Colorado in July 2015. He survived and was treated at a nearby clinic for bites and scratches. The incident happened about 60 miles from where the 5-year-old boy was attacked.