Boy Recovering After Mountain Lion Attack 2/6/12
CBS 7 Reporter
February 6, 2012
Big Bend National Park - What started as a family vacation, quickly took a turn for the worst after a six-year-old boy is attacked by a mountain lion in Big Bend National Park.
"We weren’t on a trail or down in the woods we were on a sidewalk between the restaurant and hotel," explains Rivers Hobbs’ father, Jason.
The Hobbs family drove in from Austin, hoping to enjoy the outdoors in Big Bend National Park. But their vacation was cut short.
"It snuck up on me," claims 6-year-old Rivers.
“It” was a mountain lion, sneaking up on Rivers just feet from the Chisos Mountain Lodge where they were staying.
"It had a hold of his face...the cat was clamped on his face. I reached down and got my knife out and stabbed the cat in the chest and it let go at that point," Jason says.
The family immediately took action, but they claim the lodge did just the opposite
"I heard them say right in front of me that they were not going to tell the other people at the lodge that there was an attack and the lion is still at large," says Rivers’ mom, Kristi Harris.
Despite the gruesome stitches from his surgery, Rivers claims he didn't cry once.
"Did it hurt?" we asked him.
"No… not that bad,” he replies.
"Were lucky he’s walking away with scars and it didn't get him by the neck," Jason says.
David Elkowitz with the Big Bend National Park tells CBS 7 this was actually the second attack of the day in the same area.
Elkowitz said the mountain lion tried to attack another family but was fended off by a backpack.
Both families say the mountain lion looked "small, young and in bad shape."
Park rangers began evacuating trails and campsites early today.
Closed areas include the Chisos Basin, Window Trail, The Pinnacles, Boulder Meadow and Juniper Flats.