9-year-old girl survives rare cougar attack in Washington

FRUITLAND, Washing. A 9-year-old girl survived a cougar attack after walking down a path with two friends while camping in the northwestern state of Washington.

It happened Saturday morning at Fruitland, Washington. The girl fought back while her friends ran for her life. Adults rushed to help and found the girl covered in blood. She was soon taken by air to a hospital, where she is recovering from surgery for multiple wounds to her head and upper body. Others found the young male cougar and killed it.

Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Staci Lehman says cougar attacks are rare, with only two deaths in the last century in Washington state.

“In this case, this little girl did nothing wrong,” she said. “It happened so fast, and there is nothing she could have done to prevent it.”

Anyone confronted with a cougar should call the beast and try to make yourself bigger than it is, she said. When it attacks, “fight as hard as you can back and try to stay on your feet.”

“Do not turn around. Do not take your eyes off the animal,” Lehman added. “Do not run.”


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