The 8-year-old suffered minor injuries during the encounter with the big cat
An 8-year-old child is recovering from minor injuries after being attacked by a mountain lion during a family camping trip at Washington’s Olympic National Park.
The National Park Service said in a release that the wild cat attacked the child around 6:30 p.m. at Lake Angeles. After the child’s mother yelled at the mountain lion, it "casually abandoned its attack."
Olympic National Park wildlife biologist Tom Kay said in a statement that due to the extreme nature of the incident, all the other campers in the area were evacuated and access to the area was shut down.
CBS News reports that law enforcement and wildlife personnel are searching for the cougar, which will be euthanized and taken to a facility for a necropsy if located.
"This may provide clues as to why the animal attacked since cougars are rarely seen and attacks on humans are extraordinarily rare," the National Park Service said.
According to Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, since 1924, the state has recorded approximately two dozen mountain lion/human encounters that resulted in injury, including a deadly attack in 2018.
Because all of Olympic National Park is considered cougar territory, visitors to the park are advised not to hike or jog solo. Adults are advised to keep children in sight and leave pets at home.
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