Mountain lion attacked girl, 11, as she checked on chickens after finding one dead

Mountain lion attacked girl, 11, as she checked on chickens after finding one dead

A wild mountain lion has left an 11-year-old girl with severe facial injuries after attacking her as she checked on chickens.

In what has been described as a ‘rare attack’, the beast swatted at the poor girl who spotted one of her family’s hens appeared lifeless.

Wildlife officials in Colorado, US, have since tracked down and euthanised the beast.

After killing the chicken, what Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials described as a ‘small, sub-adult lion’, lunged at the girl and punctured her face.

Quickly arriving at the scene, wildlife officers euthanised the animal and sent the remains for examination to the Wildlife animal health lab in Fort Collins for examination, while the child was sent to Chaffee County Hospital for treatment.

Sean Shepherd, an area wildlife manager based in Salida, Colorado, said: “(It was) probably just looking for an easy meal in the chicken coop.”

He believes that because the animal didn’t opt for a second attack, it was probably just delivering a defensive manoeuvre.

The girl came away with facial injuries (Stock) (Image: Getty Images)
The girl came away with facial injuries (Stock) (Image: Getty Images)
The attack took place in Colorado, USA (Image: Google)
The attack took place in Colorado, USA (Image: Google)

Officials are now conducting tests to check whether the lion may have acted violently due to having contracted rabies or highly pathogenic avian influenza, or another infection.

Shepherd said: “Mountain lion attacks are rare, but we can’t take any chances when any predator makes contact with a human.”

While these sorts of incidents are few and far between, two months ago in Nathrop, Chaffee County, a mountain lion attacked a man who was minding his own business in a hot tub.

The lion swatted at the girl's face (Image: Getty Images)
The lion swatted at the girl’s face (Image: Getty Images)

Shepherd claimed: “Both of these incidents are highly unusual. I do not believe there is a pattern here.”

However, before this, there hadn’t been any other attacks reported on a human since February 2022.

In total, since 1990, there have been a grand total of 25 mountain lion-on-human attacks, three of which resulted in the victim passing away.

This article by James Sweetnam was first published by The Daily Star on 14 May 2023. Lead Image: The mountain lion attacked the girl in her chicken coop (Image: Getty Images).

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