TRINITY COUNTY, California — A woman’s dog suffered “major” injuries Monday when it fought off a mountain lion that was trying attack its owner, officials say.
The attack occurred at about 3 p.m. near a picnic area on State Route 299, according to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The woman, Erin Wilson, 24, and her dog, Eva, had stopped at the area and were walking down a path when the mountain lion swiped her across the left shoulder.
The dog, a Belgian Malinois, ran back and began fighting the mountain lion, which bit Eva in the head and would not let go, the release says. Wilson began screaming, throwing rocks and even gouged at the eyes of the mountain lion to try and get it to let go of the dog.
Wilson ran back to her vehicle to grab a tire iron and and got the attention of a passing motorist, Sharon Houston, who got a can of mace and sprayed the mountain lion, but it had no effect. The mountain lion was trying to drag the dog off the trail, authorities say.
Wilson and Houston beat the mountain lion with the tire iron and a piece of PVC pipe until it let go of the dog, authorities say.
“I think it’s safe to assume that dog probably saved her life,” Capt. Patrick Foy of the Department of Fish and Wildlife tells the Sacramento Bee.
Wilson drove Eva to a vet and its unknown if she will survive her injuries, authorities say. Wilson’s husband, Connor Kenny, tells SFGATE that Eva had two skull fractures, a punctured sinus cavity and severe damage to her left eye. Wilson was treated at a hospital for bite wounds, scratches and abrasions.
“I will ever be able to live up to how amazing and loyal she is to me,” Wilson told the Bee.
Wildlife officials say they are attempting to trap the mountain lion and “will further evaluate the situation if it is caught.”
This article by Cliff Pinckard was first published by Cleveland.com on 18 May 2022.
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