A California hiker recently avoided an attack from a mountain lion as her dog risked its life and saved her.
Erin Wilson was on a hiking trail in California called the big bar pass with her dog, a Belgian shepherd named Eva when the big cat attacked.
Eva was off-leash and a few yards ahead of her when they had just started the hike. Her car was still in sight on Highway 299 when the mountain lion confronted them, Wilson said to Sacramento Bee.
The animal lunged at her scratching her through her jacket.
The 24-year-old hiker said, ”I yelled ‘Eva!’ and she came running. And she hit the cat really hard.”
She said that the cat appeared to be emaciated, but still overpowered her dog, who is two and a half years old.
Wilson said, ”They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying.”
Even as Wilson started to beat it with rocks and sticks, and even tried to gouge its eyes out, the wild cat wouldn’t let go after it sank its fangs into Eva’s head.
The mountain lion fended off Erin with its back paws.
Wilson said, ”They battled for a few moments until I heard her cry. The cat had her by the left side of her head. For the next several minutes I tried everything I could to free her.”
Wilson ran to her car to get a tire iron and beat the wild cat with a flagged down driver, Sharen Houston.
Houston said that Wilson was “pretty scrapped up.”
Wilson had told her that ”a mountain lion had just attacked her dog and she wanted to know if I had a weapon–which I didn’t other than my little pepper spray,” Houston told the blog Redheaded Blackbelt.
“She was very determined to stop this mountain lion from attacking her dog so I couldn’t leave her,” the passerby said.
Houston said that after more beating on it the mountain lion turned its attention away from the dog and back to the woman.
The cat “swiped at us and bared its teeth,” Houston told the blog.
”I opened up my pepper spray and just hosed its face,” Houston told the blog. ”It was the longest 5 to 10 seconds…I begged, ‘Please work, please work, please work.”
After this, the cat ran off.
”I think it’s safe to assume that dog probably saved her life,” Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told The Sacramento Bee.
It was a rough visit to the vet as the dog had two skull fractures and severe swelling around the eye, causing it to have a hard time seeing.
”She is still not out of the woods, she is heavily sedated until we can be sure the pressure in her head is reduced,” Wilson said. ”The vet is optimistic.”
“My dog is my hero and I owe her my life,” she said.