Mountain Lion Attacks Child in Colorado

Cougar encounter is second in two weeks, third of the year for the state.
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A mountain lion wounded a child in central Colorado on Wednesday, state wildlife officials say.

In a tweet, Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed that a child was taken to the hospital after an attack in the town of Bailey, located southwest of Denver. The agency said that it was searching the area with dog teams, and advised residents to keep their pets indoors.

The encounter is the second of its kind in Colorado in as many weeks. On August 10, a hunter reported that he fought off a cougar with a pocket knife after it pounced on him near Kremmling. Wildlife officials later tracked down and killed the animal. After a necropsy, they attributed the attack to hunger: the otherwise-healthy adult male had only eaten grass recently.

Colorado Public Radio reports that there have been 18 recorded mountain lion attacks in Colorado over the past 30 years; three of those took place in 2019. In February, trail runner Travis Kaufmann strangled a juvenile lion after it attacked him while he was trail running in a Fort Collins-area park.

If you encounter a mountain lion, experts recommend making yourself as large as possible, talking loudly and firmly to the animal, and retreating without turning your back. If attacked, fight back with rocks, water bottles, trekking poles, or anything else you have available.