Summoned by the sound of screams, a Colorado woman raced to her front yard to find a terrifying sight: A mountain lion was hunched over her 5-year-old son, biting him.
The woman charged the animal, yanked away one of its paws and discovered her son’s whole head was in its mouth. She didn’t back down.
“She was able to pry the cat’s jaws open,” Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Buglione said. “She’s a hero.”
The boy suffered deep cuts to his head, face and neck and was flown to a Denver hospital. The mother, who also had scratches and bites, is credited with saving his life.
The ordeal started Friday evening when the 5-year-old and his older brother were playing outside their home near the resort town of Aspen, Buglione said.
When the woman ran outside, she found the mountain lion crouched over her younger son, who was struggling to get free.
“The boy was completely under the cat,” Buglione told The Aspen Times.
The mother grabbed the lion’s mouth and pried it open, freeing the boy. She then scooped him up and ran away, the deputy said.
The boy’s father had just returned from a run when the attack occurred. He jumped in the car with his wife and son and called 911 as they sped to the Aspen hospital.
From there, the child was flown to Children’s Hospital in Denver in fair condition. On Saturday, a hospital spokeswoman told the Times she was not authorized to release any details on his condition.
The mother suffered bite marks on her hand and scratches on her leg, authorities said. She was treated and released.
The family members’ names were not released.
The mountain lion was estimated to be about 2 years old and was not fully grown.
“It wasn’t a big cat,” Buglione said. “Had it been a 110-pound lion — which I’ve seen around here — this would have been a much different story.”
Wildlife officials killed two mountain lions in the area within several hours of the attack. The animals were being examined to determine if they were hungry, diseased or just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Colorado is home to up to 4,500 mountain lions, and they sometimes wander into urban areas looking for food, according to state wildlife officials. Since 1990, mountain lions have killed three people and injured 18 in the state.
“They’re wild animals. They find habitat where they can forage for food,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Matt Robbins said. “When you have bunnies, you’re likely to find foxes or coyotes. If you have deer, there is a good chance you’ll find mountain lions.”
The last known lion attack on a human in Colorado was in July 2015, wildlife officials said. A young lion attacked a man as he fished north of Dotsero, about 60 miles from where Friday’s attack occurred. The man suffered scratches and bites on his back and was treated at a local clinic and released.
The lion in that incident, described as a small, yearling male, was tracked and killed.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Dave Stewart says
Please don’t tell me the cats sre part of the eco-freak movement to “restore” America to it’s pristine and primitive splendor before man! These idiots run all over the west sprinkling wolves, cats, other pests we spent decades trying to eradicate; often wonder why anyone would try to cow or sheep ranch; evrryone with a gov’t. tie is against it!
Texas Mak says
I have a ranch south of Pueblo and have had mountain lions here go after elk and mule deer calves. As long as I had one mule who was not afraid to take on a cat, all was fine, but Big Red got bit in the upper gums by a rattler last fall and we had to put him down. Now, I’m concerned as I was planning on buying a few yearling calves. They put such a high price on hunting these predators that no one will!!! Last I looked, it was $3500 to get a tag for hunting cats!!!
William Walraven says
We humans have invaded their territory with cities, homes and too many people..Animals are necessary to allow humans to evolve according to the nature of all life…A balance of of water,soil, minerals, and clean air with animals as well as the human animal. Us humans are really messing up that balance as revealed in the current climate change concerns. Nature is what it is and will be as it is . As we continue to destroy nature as we have we only hasten the demise of our fragile earth. Humans are greedy seeking more money and power . It will not matter to me as I am dieing of old age..Be ware as the earth as we have now is dieing as the result of careless, greedy, humans…..Good Luck….
I’m curious to know in what kind of habitat You live– I have often found that people who want to shame others about destroying habitat for a housing development, for instance, live in one themselves. It’s a “I’ve got mine, but you shouldn’t get yours” typically liberal hypocritical attitude. Just sayin’
Born in South and proud of it says
I personally believe that climate change is a complete bunch of BS. I do believe, however that there is a change in climate and that it is part of a natural cycle. The rest of the story is a complete falsehood designed to make a few people very, very rich. People have to have places for homes. I think a good ratio should be that if you develop 10 acres the 50 acres need to be left natural. Nature by its self and left alone will be in balance.
Gerald Lynch says
This climate Change renamed after it did not work for the first part of Obama’s term called Global warming failed.Why because this crap of global warming was debunked by the very EPA that started its false statistics after admitting to the Obama administration their figures we processed and reported FALSELY to the administration. More important is the fact that several Global scientists ;more qualified than the Climate change screamers have noted that the environment pollution is not the main contributing factor alone in the so called wheather changes we are now unusually experiencing.Scientists report that nearly every 75 to 100 years the ocean currents circulate the earths entire land forms or continents.As you know,99% of the Earths sub-atmospheric wheather is caused by the movements of the oceans currents,winds above them and continental land forms.Again the ocean currents are rotating 360 and we are in the mists of that rotating currents where the Atlantic in warming and the pacific is cooling somewhat in the 5 to 7 dg,s range.this warming as natural process of an extended time pushing warmer ocean temperatures into the Artic ocean back towards the final course at end the Atlantic will eventually cool down again.A long process described short is ;the warmer ocean tempetures now being felt in the northern hemisphere from alteration of the ocean currents is mainly responsible for the creation of diverse temperatures reaching or not into the normal continental flows of the past 100 year norm.Although the Russians are adding a severe threat to the Artic ocean warming to direct sunlight and Ultra-violet warming rays from the sun by chopping up the Artic ice to navigate its entirety from the Bearing sea to the Atlantic.Why,Well it seems Obama has given the way for Russia to claim 7 of our Alaskian Islands for Gold silver and coal.So now the Russians are using 7 ice brakers constantly to open the Artic ocean to 7+ degrees warming temps creating an Artic water warmig of the ice. This will eventually be devistating to our Artic enviroment and eventually to America.Not to mention that Russia is building outposts of Military command rocket launching bases on every Artic jetteys next to the Artic flow.Their purpose is to launch 3,000 electrical pulsating missels to fry our electrical grids in the near future which will leave America helplessly defenceless and open for a Millitary Invasion.Putin is way smarter than Obama of Military invasions.As we see in the Syerian invasion that Marko Rubio predicted over two years ago.