ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a Colorado woman saved her 5-year-old son’s life by prying his head from a mountain lion’s mouth after the animal attacked the boy in their front yard.
Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy Michael Buglione says the woman told him she found the lion crouched over her son biting his head Friday outside their home near the resort town of Aspen. She told deputies she grabbed one of the animal’s paws and stuck her right hand in its mouth to pry it open.
Buglione says the mother had bite marks on her hand and scratches on her leg after the lion, estimated to be about 2 years old, ran off.
He says the boy suffered deep cuts to his face, head and neck and was taken to a Denver hospital. Their names weren’t released.
Wildlife officials say they shot one young mountain lion near the home and a second one in the area several hours later.
The sheriff’s office said the boy’s mother heard screaming while he was playing outside in the front yard with his older brother. T
Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies and a Forest Service Ranger were the first to arrive and killed the lion believed to be responsible for the attack after they found it wandering near the home. According to wildlife officials, the lion was 2 years old and had been seen previously in the area where the attack occurred.
Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the federal wildlife authorities are tracking a second lion and will kill the animal when they find it.
A necropsy will be performed on the lion suspected in the attack.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said the last known lion attack on a human in Colorado occurred in July 2015. A young lion attacked a man as he fished along north of Dotsero, about 60 miles from where Friday night’s attack occurred. The man had scratches and bites on his back and was treated and released from a local clinic.
The lion in that incident, described as a small, yearling male, was tracked and killed.