A Colorado mother fought off a mountain lion that attacked her 5-year-old son, according to WEAU News.
The incident occurred at around 8 p.m. on June 17. The boy was playing outside when a mountain lion attacked. Hearing screaming, the mother rushed outside and was able to free the boy from the animal’s jaws using her bare hands.
The boy’s suffered face, head, and neck injuries, and was transferred to a Denver hospital in fair condition. The mother also suffered injuries to her hand and legs, but has since been released from the hospital.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) notes that mountain lion-human interaction has become increasingly common due to a variety of reasons; notably, more people are moving into the lions’ habitat. An increase in the deer population is also a factor.
The agency notes that the lions are inherently elusive and quiet. They choose remote mountainous regions with plenty of cover and deer, so lion attacks on people are quite rare. There have been less than 12 recorded fatalities over the past 100 years.
If a person lives in an area where they might encounter a lion, the agency emphasizes several things one must do. Number one is to avoid confrontation in the first place, which is done by traveling in groups, making plenty of noise, and refraining from approaching one.
To avoid mountain lions on your property, one can take measures such as installing outside lighting, removing vegetation that can attract deer or that can hide lions, and keeping pets under control.
If you do come across a lion, the agency says don’t panic; running is acting like prey, and may just prompt the lion to chase you. CPW also notes it is important to let the lion know that you aren’t prey by making yourself appear larger, which can be done through raising your arms or opening a jacket if you’re wearing one.
Finally, if the lion does get aggressive, it’s OK to fight back. You can even win the fight and drive the lion away through throwing stones, sticks, or even using your bare hands, as the brave Colorado woman demonstrated.