SALT LAKE, Utah (GOOD4UTAH) — An Idaho preschooler is back home recovering after being attacked by a mountain lion.
She and her family were camping near Yellowstone National Park when the cougar snatched the little girl.
Although there hasn’t been any reported Mountain Lion attacks in Utah this year, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen here says the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Cougar attacks on humans are rare but when they do pounce they often target children and that’s unfortunately what happened to 4-year-old Kelsi.
Kera Butt, Mother, “It just grabbed her with its teeth and flipped her over grabbed her again.”
The horror unfolded before mom’s eyes.
Butt, “I’m expecting blood everywhere.”
The family went camping in Green Canyon Hot Springs near Yellowstone National Park roughly 4 hours north of Salt Lake City.
Kera Butt had put her daughter Kelsi in the tent to take a nap. But the little girl wandered off.
That’s when the cougar snatched Kelsi in its mouth and tried to drag her away.
Butt, “I ran to her screaming ran up to the lion and I scoop her up.”
The family managed to scare off the big cat.
It seems, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources they did everything right.
1. Hike in groups
2. Pick up your children before they panic and run if you see a cougar
3. Fight Back
4. Never Run
5. Make Yourself Look Intimidating
Scott Root, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, “we recommend that you hold your ground don’t run away from a cougar that could trigger that predator response to chase the prey. make yourself appear bigger have direct eye contact with that cougar and open your jacket raise your arms. Make a lot of noise when you do that, typically the cougar will dart off.”
Kelsi suffered scratches and puncture wounds on her arms, thighs and back but overall is doing okay.
The family is just thankful their daughter is okay. The little girl earned herself a new nickname: Princess Puma. According to our media partners in Idaho Falls, authorities there tracked down the cougar in a tree a few hundred yards from the camp ground and killed.
For more information: http://wildlife.utah.gov/learn-more/living-with-cougars.html