A mountain lion attacked a 4-year-old girl from Rexburg, Idaho, on Aug. 12.
The young girl was camping with her mother, siblings and cousins near Green Canyon Hot Springs when the attack occurred, East Idaho News reports.
The girl’s mother spotted a big cat out of the corner of her eye while the family was eating dinner, according to Jim Sevy, the child’s grandfather.
“Nobody else thought much of it and, a short time later, her mom went to put the 4-year-old in the tent for a nap,” Sevy said.
When the mother took her 6-year-old child into the woods to use the restroom, screams from the 4-year-old rang out.
“She got out of the tent because she couldn’t find her shoe,” Sevy said. “That’s when the mountain lion grabbed her and started carrying her away.”
The girl’s mother chased the mountain lion and it eventually released the child and ran away.
The girl’s grandmother recounted how she heard the news of the attack on her blog, I Am a Happy Girl.
“I got a call from my daughter [Kera] who was camping one half hour from my home in Sugar City, Idaho at 9:45 p.m. on August 12, 2016," Carol wrote. "She said [my granddaughter] Kelsi got attacked by a mountain and asked me to look up what time a Urgent Care office in Rexburg closed. What the… Who gets a call like that?”
The next day, Carol visited her granddaughter and together they came up with a name for her to lighten the mood: “Princess Puma.”
Doctors treated Kelsi for scratches and bite marks on her stomach and arm, and gave her rabies shots and injections in her puncture wounds.
“She is doing fine,” Sevy told East Idaho News. “Her great-grandpa gave her a priesthood blessing and told her she will have stories to tell.”
According to Carol, Kelsi asked her mother why she did not film the incident.
“Well I was busy saving your life,” Kera responded.
Madison County Sheriff deputies captured and euthanized the cat, East Idaho News reports.
Mountain Lion attacks are rare, according to Idaho Fish & Game spokesman Gregg Losinski.
“When lions do attack, records indicate that small children are often the targets,” he said. “This family showed how vigilance and quick thinking can help avert a tragedy.”
Sevy is very thankful his granddaughter survived the attack.
“It could have gone the other way so easily,” he said. “She could have been gone and we would have never seen her. You really have to keep your eyes open when you’re out camping.”