An 8-year-old boy from Colorado recovering from a mountain lion attack described how he fought off the animal with a stick as it pinned him underneath a tree.
Pike Carlson was playing with his brother in the backyard of their home in Bailey when he went down the hill to talk to a neighbor, according to NBC affiliate KUSA in Denver. Pike said as he was walking, he was suddenly attacked by a lion.
"I was just punching, trying to grab anything that I can," he said about the Aug. 21 attack. “I did find a stick and I tried to get it in the eye but the stick snapped.”
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As Pike fought the lion, his brother, Gage, ran to get their father. When Ron Carlson, armed with a knife, arrived at the scene he saw his son pinned under a tree with his head in the lion's mouth, he told KUSA.
Eventually, Ron Carlson was able to scare the animal away.
"The whole side of his face was open," he said about his son. "There was blood all over him."
The lion that attacked Pike was a 1-year-old male, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release. It, along with a second male lion, was euthanized after wildlife officials found them near the carcass of a domestic goat the animals had killed.
The agency said hair samples taken from Pike and his father matched tissue samples from the lion.
“It is reassuring to know that the mountain lion from both the attack and depredation of the goat was removed from the area,” said Area Wildlife Manager Mark Lamb in a statement. "This male juvenile mountain lion was not only a threat to human safety, but obviously to livestock and pets as well."
Pike has undergone two surgeries and may need a third to repair part of his eyelid, according to KUSA. He is now home recovering with his family.
Despite his scary brush with death, Pike has maintained a positive attitude, warning others: “No one try to wrestle a mountain lion. It is a cheater.”