The girl is recovering in the hospital
美联社 reports that the girl, whose parents identified her as Lily, and some friends hiked up a trail in northwest Washington state on Saturday while camping with their families.
At some point during the trek a cougar attacked the children without warning. Lily fought back against the cougar, allowing her friends to run and find help.
The adults on the trip rushed to help and found Lily covered in blood, suffering from multiple wounds to her head and upper body. She was airlifted out of the woods and flown to a nearby hospital where she underwent surgery.
在星期一, the Lily’s family confirmed she was awake in the hospital and was recovering from her injuries.
之后, trackers found the young male cougar that attacked the children and killed it.
While scary, cougar attacks are exceptionally rare, as the big cats tend to keep to themselves and prefer to avoid encounters with humans.
Staci Lehman, a spokesperson for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said that there have only been two fatalities attributed to cougar attacks in the last century in Washington state.
“In this instance, this little girl did nothing wrong,” 她说. “It happened so quickly, and there’s nothing she could have done to prevent it.”
If anyone finds themselves facing down a cougar, experts recommend yelling at the animal and trying to make yourself look bigger than you are in order to scare it off.
In the event of an actual attack, wildlife experts say all you can do is fight back and try to stay on your feet.
“Do not turn around. Don’t take your eyes off the animal,” Ms Lehman added. “Don’t run.”
Not unlike a house cat, running triggers the animal’s hunting instincts. If you run, you are effectively telling the cougar that you are prey.
在 2020, a cougar stalked a hiker in Utah for six harrowing minutes — all caught on video — as the hiker walked backwards away from the animal, never taking his eyes off the cat.
As he backed away he hurled rocks and screamed at the animal in hopes of scaring it away. The hiker noted after the ordeal that every time he looked away from the cat, it would attempt to pounce on him.
In that instance the hiker had mistaken the cougar’s cubs for bobcats and got close to them in order to shoot photos. By the time he realised what the creatures were, the mother cougar had emerged from the brush and began stalking him.