Mother saves child from cougar attack in Washington by screaming and yelling

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A quick-acting mother saved her eight-year-old child from an attack by a cougar on Saturday in Washington state’s Olympic national park.

In a statement, park officials said: “The cougar casually abandoned its attack after being yelled and screamed at by the child’s mother.”

The child reportedly emerged from the encounter with only minor injuries. Nonetheless, authorities said the child was taken to a nearby hospital to be fully examined.

The cougar attack took place as the mother and child camped near Lake Angeles, park officials said.

Park personnel said they quickly responded after the attack was reported about 6.30pm local time.

Campers were instructed to leave the area, and Lake Angeles as well as nearby Heather Park were closed until further notice.

Park law enforcement and wildlife officials were actively tracking the cougar’s whereabouts as of Monday. If they find the cougar, they plan to euthanize the animal.

Although the park is considered to be cougar territory, the creatures are rarely seen. That means cougar attacks on humans are rare, though the park does warn visitors to be on alert.

“It is recommended that visitors not hike or jog alone, and to keep children within sight and close to adults,” park officials said. “Leave pets at home and be alert to your surroundings when hiking. If you meet a cougar, it is important to not run because it could trigger the cougar’s attack instinct.

“Instead, people should group together, appear as large as possible, keep eyes on the animal, make lots of noise and shout loudly. Throwing rocks or objects at the cougar is also recommended.”

Cougars – sometimes referred to as mountain lions – are a threatened species native to the Americas. Unlike most big cats, they cannot roar.

Their sizes can vary greatly and they can weigh anywhere from 64lb to 220lb. They primarily live in mountains, forests, deserts and wetlands.

The National Wildlife Federation describes cougars as “stealthy predators, hunting at night and often lying in wait for prey or silently stalking it before pouncing from behind and delivering a lethal bite to the spinal cord”.

Read More: Mother saves child from cougar attack in Washington by screaming and yelling

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