Thursday, 30 June 2016

Colorado mother fights off mountain lion that attacked five-year-old son

Boy playing outside home suffers injuries to face, head and neck
Lion killed as presumed to be ‘either injured or very ill’, authorities say

Associated Press in Denver
Saturday 18 June 201614.07 BSTLast modified on Saturday 18 June 201619.57 BST

Authorities say a mother fought off a mountain lion that attacked her five-year-old son in Colorado on Friday night.

The Pitkin County sheriff’s office told ABC7 the boy had been playing outside with his older brother about 8pm when the mountain lion attacked, near their home about 10 miles north-west of Aspen.

The mother heard screams from outside and “physically removed her son from the mountain lion”, according to a police statement.

The sheriff’s office said the boy’s mother ran outside when she heard screaming; the boy’s face, head and neck were injured. He was taken to an Aspen area hospital and county undersheriff Ron Ryan told the Aspen Times the boy was conscious and alert.

His mother sustained minor injuries to her hands and legs. An Aspen Valley hospital spokesperson told NBC News she was “released in good condition”.

Sheriff’s deputies and forest service officers found the mountain lion under some trees by the family’s home, near toys and bicycles. The forest service officer killed the lion, the sheriff’s department said.

“Since it was still there, it was either injured or very ill, so they dispatched it,” Ryan said.
Mountain lions are not often seen in Colorado, and attacks are rare. The stateparks and wildlife department says there have been “fewer than a dozen fatalities in North America in more than 100 years”.

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