A 4-year-old girl is recovering after a mountain lion tried to drag her away from the campsite where she was staying with her family, according to a local report.
The reported attack occurred on Friday near Green Canyon Hot Springs, a popular getaway in Newdale, Idaho, according to EastIdahoNews.com.
The girl’s grandfather, Jim Sevy, told the outlet that the girl’s mother thought she saw a large cat while the family was eating dinner.
“Nobody else thought much of it and, a short time later, her mom went to put the four-year-old in the tent for a nap,” Sevy said.
Shortly after, the mother took a young sibling into the woods to go to the bathroom. While they were doing that, the family reportedly heard the girl scream.
“She got out of the tent because she couldn’t find her shoe,” Sevy said. “That’s when the mountain lion grabbed her and started carrying her away.”
The family began yelling at the cougar as the mother chased it, prompting the animal to drop the child and run away.
The family, whose name has not been released, reportedly took the child to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. She had a few scratches but otherwise was physically unharmed.
“She is getting rabies shots and injections in her puncture wounds,” Sevy said. “She should be okay.”
Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Andrew Sorensen reportedly euthanized a female mountain lion that was found a few hundred yards from the camp, Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Gregg Losinski told EastIdahoNews.com.
Losinski said cougar attacks and even sightings are rare, but small children are often the targets.
“This family showed how vigilance and quick thinking can help avert a tragedy,” he said
Sevy said the family returned to the campsite to finish their trip, grateful that the vacation didn’t end in tragedy.
“It could have gone the other way so easily,” Sevy said. “She could have been gone and we would have never seen her. You really have to keep your eyes open when you’re out camping.”