IDAHO FALLS – A family camping near Green Canyon Hot Springs east of Rexburg, Idaho, saved their four-year-old daughter from being drug away from their campfire by a mountain lion on the evening of Friday, August 12, 2016.
The family had seen the lion in the vicinity earlier in the day, which in itself is highly unusual. When the cat appeared later in the evening and attempted to snatch the child, the family began yelling at the cougar and it dropped the girl and fled. According to the family, the child was physically unharmed, except for a few scratches.
After the incident, the family packed up and took the child to the Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls to be checked over. Idaho Fish & Game Senior Conservation Officer Andrew Sorensen enlisted the aid of local hound hunter Mike Pimentel to immediately attempt to track the lion. At 2:00 AM on the morning of the thirteenth, a young female lion was treed by the hounds a few hundred yards from the camp. The cat was dispatched by deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s office. Other campers in the area were notified of the ongoing situation.
Cougar sightings are rare, let alone attacks on humans. When lions do attack, records indicate that small children are often the targets. This family showed how vigilance and quick thinking can help avert a tragedy.
Editor note: A previous release had a typo on the date. It has been corrected.