Cougar Attacks Child in Park, Family Dogs Come Running After It

Cougar Attacks Child in Park, Family Dogs Come Running After It
A cougar in Palmira, department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia, on March 17, 2015. (Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images)

A child survived a cougar attack with minor injuries in a Washington park on June 1, after the family dogs chased the animal away. The cougar has since been tracked down and killed, according to The Oregonian.

The attack took place at Enchanted Park, a park on the banks of a river 100 miles east of Seattle that has sports fields, trails, and a playground, The Oregonian reported. Local officials closed the park earlier that afternoon due to reports of a cougar in the area acting abnormally. They could not locate the cougar and left, intending to continue the search the next morning.

Around dusk, a family entered the park, according to The Oregonian. The cougar emerged and attacked the boy. The boy’s parents then unleashed the family’s dogs, who chased the predator away, with the boy sustaining only minor injuries.

“Cougar attack at the Enchantment park in Leavenworth. Young child escaped serious injury when a cougar attempted to attack. Fish & Wildlife with local agencies at the scene. Updates to follow. Until then stay away from the area. -Tpr. Weber,” wrote State Trooper John Bryant, the Washington State Patrol District 6 Public Information Officer, via Twitter, in a message from another trooper.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials came back to the park with tracking dogs, found and killed the animal at around 1:30 a.m, the department wrote on Twitter.

“*UPDATE* The cougar involved in the attack at the Enchantment Park in Leavenworth has [been] euthanized. Any further question can be answered through the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Public Affairs Division. -Tpr. Weber,” tweeted Bryant.

WDFW wrote in a Twitter post that the animal was not unhealthy, but the department’s wildlife biologists plan to conduct additional tests.

Fatalities From Cougar Attacks

Cougars are also known as mountain lions. Cougar attacks are rare, but not unheard of.

A little over a year ago, one man was killed and another was injured in a cougar attack in Washington. The two men were biking in the mountains, KIRO 7 reported.

When officials found the cougar, he was standing over the body of SJ Brooks, a cyclist and ride leader, according to KIRO 7.

When the two men first encountered the cougar, they were successful in deterring it.

“They stopped and they made a lot of noise,” Myers told KIRO 7. “Which is exactly what we counsel people to do.”

But then the cougar saw an opening. The first man attacked was the one who survived.

“The two victims then took a minute and were catching their breath about this amazing, incredibly scary event that just occurred,” Myers told KIRO 7. “And suddenly the victim who’s now in Harborview was attacked again by this cougar. It latched onto his head.”

The surviving man was taken to the hospital. He told state wildlife officials about the attack.

“He said he had his whole entire head in the jaws of this animal,” Capt. Alan Myers of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife told KIRO 7.  “And was being shaken around very, very horribly.”

The attack by the 100-pound, 3- or 4-year-old male cougar puzzled officials.

“The fact that it stayed in close proximity to these folks and attacked and stayed with them is highly, highly unusual,” Myers said, via KIRO 7.

It was the first death from a cougar attack in Washington since 1924, according to The News Tribune.

In October, a woman was killed in a cougar attack in Mount Hood, Oregon. It was the first time in Oregon’s recorded history that such a tragedy had happened, according to The Oregonian.

Before these last two fatalities, the last death from a cougar attack happened in New Mexico, in 2008, according to The News Tribune.

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