Woman’s dog saves her from a cougar attack: “She’s a fighter. Clearly”

Big Bar, Calif. A woman who was attacked by a mountain lion in Northern California says her dog jumped to her defense and was seriously injured protecting her.

“I will [n]I can never live up to how amazing and loyal he is to me,” Erin Wilson told the Sacramento Bee on Tuesday.

Wilson, 24, lives in rural Trinity County, about four hours northwest of Sacramento. On Monday, she drove to the Trinity River near unincorporated Big Bar for an afternoon stroll with Eva, her two-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois.

Wilson was on a path, with Eva a few feet in front of her, when a mountain lion lunged at her and struck her, scratching Wilson’s left shoulder through his jacket, she said.

“I yelled ‘Eve!’ and she came running,” Wilson said. “And she hit that cat really hard.”

The dog weighs 55 pounds and was outmatched by the cougar, but put up a fierce fight.

“They wrestled for a couple of seconds, and then I heard her start to cry,” Wilson said.

The cougar bit the dog’s head and would not let go, even as Wilson attacked the animal with rocks, sticks and fists and tried to suffocate it and gouge out its eyes.

The cat tried to kick her, scratching her with its hind legs. Wilson said he ran back to his truck, grabbed a crowbar and waved at a passing car.

That driver, Sharon Houston, told the Bee that she grabbed a long PVC pipe and pepper spray. Together, the women began to beat the lion, which had dragged the dog out of the way.

Houston eventually pepper-sprayed the animal and fled, Houston said.

Wilson was treated for scratches, scrapes and bruises that were not life-threatening.

Wilson’s husband, Connor Kenny, told SFGATE that Eva had two skull fractures, a perforated sinus cavity and severe damage to her left eye. The dog had seizures on the way to the vet, but stabilized overnight.

“We are hopeful that she pulls through,” Kenny wrote. “She is a fighter, clearly.”

The dog was under surveillance, a statement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

Wildlife officers have collected samples from the wounds for DNA analysis and authorities will try to catch the cougar, the department said.

Mountain lion attacks on humans are rare, but in such cases, the animals usually die if caught.

In the meantime, Wilson said he hopes Eva recovers. He’s set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for vet bills, and he’s already planning a way to thank Eva: with some new stuffed toys and a steak dinner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.