A mountain lion knocked down a 4-year-old boy Saturday while he was on a walk with his family at a park in central Washington, KOMO reports.
“Fortunately, the family had some dogs with them that they were able to turn loose that intervened and scared the cougar away,” said Capt. Michael Jewell of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to the station.
The child suffered only a few scratches in the frightening incident about 9 p.m. Saturday at Enchantment Park in Leavenworth, The Oregonian reported.
State wildlife officers tracked down the mountain lion and killed it at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, KREM reported.
Tests on the mountain lion, described as an 18- to 20-month-old male weighing 125 pounds, showed no signs of ill health, according to the station.
State wildlife officials had earlier closed the park after reports of mountain lion sightings, but had left after looking for the animal to resume the search Sunday, KGW reported.
When the family visited the park at dusk, the mountain lion emerged from some bushes and knocked down the child, The Oregonian reported.
Wildlife officials think the mountain lion may have been trying to protect some nearby food, KOMO reported.
“We’re just very grateful that no one was seriously hurt,” Jewell said, The Oregonian reported.
Since 1924, only two people have died from cougar attacks in Washington state, KREM reported.