A brave 9-year-old girl is recovering in the hospital after being viciously attacked by a cougar in Stevens County, Washington.
What are the details?
The harrowing incident occurred Friday, May 27, at a Bible camp near Fruitland, about 60 miles northeast of Spokane. According to multiple local news reports, the young girl, Lily Kryzhanivskyy, had wandered up a trail with two other friends when the cougar suddenly attacked her, resulting in serious injuries to her body and face.
Witnesses to the attack said the two friends were able to get away safely and run for help before the cougar attacked them. Lily, however, was not so fortunate. By the time adults arrived, the young girl was covered in blood.
"It’s going to be in my mind and my heart forever," Ivan Zhuk, one of the first people who came to Lily's rescue, told KXLY-TV. "When I got there, she was under the tree. I thought she was dead because she is hauling blood and everything, covered in blood basically."
Young girl recovering after cougar attack, rescuer describes discovery www.youtube.com
The outlet later reported that crews were able to shoot and kill the young male cougar at the scene after finding Lily on the hill.
The girl was quickly airlifted to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where she remains in intensive care but is expected to fully recover.
Lily's parents reported on Saturday that their daughter had finally woken up in the hospital and was in good spirits. The girl's aunt confirmed the news on a GoFundMe page set up to help the family with medical costs, but noted that she still has a long road of recovery ahead.
"She is fully aware of what happened to her, she can speak clearly, think clearly, move her arms and legs. She talks to her mom and dad, but lots of recovery ahead," the aunt wrote in an update post on Monday. "Praying for full recovery without any side effects Thank you for all support and every dollar. For every prayer, God is good."
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Staci Lehman likewise celebrated the news, telling reporters, "[Lily] wanted us to let people know that she is tough, and she is very brave. [That] is what she asked us to share with people."
Lehman added that Fish and Wildlife experts are currently investigating the incident and conducting an autopsy on the animal to determine why it behaved so aggressively.
"Maybe it had rabies, maybe it was a disease. Anything that would make it attack randomly like that," she said, noting that cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare since the cats typically keep to themselves.
Wildlife officials noted that only about 20 cougar attacks have been recorded in Washington state in the past century, and only two of them were fatal.
9-year-old girl wakes up from coma after cougar attack in Stevens County www.youtube.com