Girl, 9, Survives Rare Cougar Attack: Washington

A 9-year-old girl survived a cougar attack in Washington state over the weekend

A 9-year-old girl survived a cougar attack in Washington state over the weekend (Image: Getty Images)

A 9-year-old girl survived a cougar attack after the animal ambushed her during a camping trip with friends.

The girl was ambushed by a cougar Saturday morning while on a trail near Fruitland, Washington. The young girl fought back against the animal that was killed at the scene, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The attack happened while the girl was walking along a trail with friends during a camping trip. The girl’s friends reportedly ran away as she wrestled the cougar.

Adults in the area found the girl, who has not been identified, covered in blood. She was flown to a nearby hospital where she is recovering from the surgery. She suffered multiple serious wounds to her head and upper body.

Wildlife officials later found and killed the wild animal.

A spokeswoman for Fish and Wildlife in Washington state said cougar attacks are rare, with only 20 reported in the state in a century. Only two of these attacks were fatal.

“In this case, this little girl did nothing wrong,” spokeswoman Staci Lehman said. “It happened so quickly and there was nothing she could have done to prevent it.”

Anyone confronted with a cougar should yell at the animal to scare it away and do whatever it takes to make yourself appear larger than it is, Lehman said.

If you’re attacked, “fight back as hard as you can and try to stay on your feet,” she said.

‘Do not turn around. Don’t let the animal out of your sight. Don’t run,” Lehman said.

Also known as mountain lions, cougars are the largest member of the cat family in this region of the United States. Male cougars can weigh up to 180 pounds and cover a home range of up to 150 square miles.

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Justin Scacco

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