A 9-year-old girl is recovering at a hospital in Washington state after being attacked by a cougar while playing hide-and-seek outdoors with her friends, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Lily Kryzhanivskyy was attacked Saturday as she jumped out to surprise her friends, the department said in a statement. The children had been attending a camp near Fruitland in northeastern Washington, about 70 miles from Spokane.
Lily was taken to a hospital for treatment, where she is out of the intensive care unit and making an “amazing” recovery, her mother said in the statement.
“We are extremely thankful for this little girl’s resiliency and we’re impressed with her spunk, in the face of this unfortunate encounter,” said the wildlife department’s Capt. Mike Sprecher. “It happened fast and we are thankful that the adults at the camp responded so quickly.”
Lily “wants people to know she was ‘very brave and tough’ in the face of the attack,” the statement said.
The young male cougar that attacked Lily has been killed, the statement said, and tests showed the animal didn’t have rabies.
Cougar attacks are rare, with only two fatal attacks having taken place in the state, according to the wildlife department. In 2018, a cougar stalked two mountain bikers in the state’s Cascade Mountains, killing one. Prior to the latest incident, 19 attacks have resulted in injuries to humans in the past 100 years, the department said.
“Wild animals don’t care to be around humans any more than we want to have close encounters with them,” Sprecher said.