BAILEY, Colo. (CBS4) – Officials in Park County are searching for a mountain lion that attacked an 8-year-old boy in the Bailey area on Wednesday night and bit him on the head. The boy was taken to a Denver-area hospital and remained hospitalized overnight, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Late Thursday morning officials said he was in serious but stable condition.
The attack happened at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the Burland Ranchettes subdivision. The boy was with his brother in the yard outside their home at the time.
“The two boys were playing outside on a trampoline when the eight-year-old boy heard one of his friends calling from a neighboring house and ran to go visit the friend. While he was running, the mountain lion attacked and bit the boy on the head,” officials with CPW wrote in a news release.
“The kid was running and it probably triggered the lions natural response to a prey animal running,” area wildlife manager Mark Lamb said.
The boy’s brother ran inside and the father came outside to find the animal on top of his son. He scared it off.
“He did what a father would do, run out and protect his son knowing that he was in trouble,” said CPW spokesman Jason Clay. “The father saved his son’s life.”
The family told initially investigators the animal was smaller than a normal mountain lion.
Searchers set traps and used dogs to try to tracks down the mountain lion but so far have been unsuccessful.
Wildlife officers set a trap near the scene of the mountain lion attack in Bailey, Colo., Wednesday evening. A dog team was also used overnight trying to track down the mountain lion from the attack. Efforts are ongoing Thursday to locate the mountain lion. pic.twitter.com/OBWr2efQj2
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) August 22, 2019
“By policy, any wildlife attack on a human resulting in injury, that animal must be put down,” CPW officials stated.
The boy’s name hasn’t been released.