Big Bend mountain lion attacks 6-year-old

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Big Bend mountain lion attacks 6-year-old

Postby chief joe » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:36 am

A 6-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion while walking near the lodge at Chisos Basin of Big Bend National Park with his family Sunday night.

The boy sustained nonlife-threatening injuries of scrapes and puncture wounds to his face, according to park officials. His father was able to fight off the cat by stabbing it with a pocket knife.

The boy was transferred to a local hospital. The family is from Leander, outside of Austin, according to the park service.

By 8 a.m. Monday the trail was closed, and dog teams were brought in but unable to pick up the scent of the cat.

“From the description, it's small and haggard looking,” park spokesman David Elkowitz said of the cat. “It would appear to be a young lion.”

The attack on a sidewalk between the lodge and a restaurant is believed to be the second reported sighting of the lion that night.

Shortly before the attack on the boy, a cat with a similar description approached a family in a campground and was chased off with a backpack that the cat then took into the brush. The pack has since been recovered.

Rangers are patrolling the area and the Window Trail. Nearby backcountry campsites remain closed.

At this time children are not advised to hike in the Chisos Mountains and visitors should check on trail closures as they could change.

The cat will be killed if it is found, and live traps have been set.

The last cat attack in Big Bend occurred in 2003 and caused nonlife-threatening injuries. That time the cat was an old female with missing teeth.
Joe Beran
"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull." - W.C. Fields
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