An eight-year-old boy was bitten on the head by a mountain lion outside his home in Colorado – the third such attack in the state this year.
The boy had been playing on a trampoline with his brother at their home in the town of Bailey, 35 miles southwest of Denver, on Wednesday evening when a friend called out to him from a house next door. When the boy ran over, the cat pounced. The mountain lion probably thought the playing children were prey, a spokeswoman said, with the attack instinct triggered by the boy running to his friend’s home.
The boy’s brother ran inside the home and told his father, who rushed outside and found the cat on top of his son. The mountain lion let go and ran off as the father approached.
“It’s quite heroic. He did everything that we would ask somebody to do,” Rebecca Ferrell, a spokeswoman for the wildlife agency, said about the boy’s father. “He ran towards it. He was making himself large and loud. … His efforts almost certainly saved his son’s life.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife tweeted on Thursday that a landowner within a mile of the attack reported a goat was missing and two mountain lions were roaming the area. The attack prompted authorities to euthanize two lions that were found roaming the area.
Mountain lions rarely attack people, but Colorado’s booming population is leading to an increase in encounters with dangerous animals. There have been 22 mountain lion attacks on people in Colorado since 1990 and three deaths.
The boy, whose name has not been released, was taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition.