AN eight-year-old boy has told how he fought off a mountain lion after it dragged him off by his head and pinned him down beneath a tree.
Pike Carlson tried to stab the beast in the eye with a stick while screaming for help during the vicious attack in Bailey, Colorado.
Pike Carlson was attacked by a mountain lion as he played in his backyard[/caption]
Pike is now recovering after undergoing surgery[/caption]
The boy was playing with his older brother Gage in their backyard when the big cat reportedly grabbed Pike by the head.
Terrified Gage rushed into the house to alert their dad, Ron Carlson, who told NBC: “His head was inside the lion’s mouth and I watched – and I think that’s what made me snap inside – watching it chew on him.
“That parental instinct to protect your child kind of kids in. It never even entered my head that I was about to tangle with something that could kill me. All you know is you have to do something. It doesn’t matter what happens to you, you’ve got to protect your children.”
As Ron rushed to help his son, Pike reached for a stick.
His head was inside the lion’s mouth
He explained: “He picked up a stick that was underneath the tree and was reaching back trying to poke it in the eye.”
The lion eventually let go of the boy after Ron approached his son.
He added: “When I first picked him up, I could see the whole side of his face was open.
“There was blood all over him. His scalp was ripped open in several spots. It was something that no parent should ever see.”
The family then rushed Pike to hospital, where he underwent surgery and dozens of stitches.
Pike may need a further op to repair part of his eyelid that was badly damaged in the attack,
Yet despite his horrific ordeal, Pike has maintained a sense of humour.
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“The mountain lion is a cheater,” he said. “No one try to wrestle a mountain lion. It is a cheater. It didn’t actually hurt.”
In a statement detailing the attack, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the boy dashing towards his friend may have triggered the lion’s natural response to a running animal.
Area Wildlife Manager Mark Lamb said: “We all hope that the child will be alright and you just hate to see this occur.”
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Pike fought off a mountain lion, like the one pictured here, by gouging its eye with a stick[/caption]