8-year-old survives cougar attack in Washington state national park

31 July 2023

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — An 8-year-old child survived a cougar attack with minor injuries while camping in Olympic National Park in Washington state over the weekend.

“The cougar casually abandoned its attack after being yelled and screamed at by the child’s mother,” the National Park Service said in a statement. After being assessed by park personnel, the child, who was not identified, went to a hospital for further evaluation.

Rangers shut down the campsite and surrounding areas following the Saturday attack. Park law enforcement and cougar specialists began looking for the animal on Sunday at Lake Angeles. If located, the cougar will be euthanized and officials hope a necropsy will provide clues as to why it attacked.

Cougars are rarely seen and attacks on humans are extremely rare, park officials said. The lethal removal of the cougar is in line with the park’s protocol for wildlife observations, interactions and attacks.

The entirety of the 1,562-square-mile (4,045-square-kilometer) park located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Seattle is consider cougar territory.

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