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NorCal woman bravely defended by her dog during mountain lion attack

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (May 18 AM Edition)
CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (May 18 AM Edition) 02:20

A woman in Northern California says her dog came to her rescue when she was attacked by a mountain lion Monday afternoon.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the attack occurred at about 3 p.m. near a highway in the Big Bar area of Trinity County, about 65 miles west of Redding.

The woman had pulled over near a picnic area with her dog, a Belgian Malinois, and gone for a walk down a path when the mountain lion swiped her shoulder, CDFW said in a news release.

Her dog came to her defense and was bitten in the head by the mountain lion, who would not let go of the dog even when she tried to throw rocks and pull the two apart.

She even tried to gouge the mountain lions eyes out, CDFW said.

She then ran to the road and flagged down a passerby. The Good Samaritan grabbed a can of pepper spray and unsuccessfully tried to spray the mountain lion in the face.

When the mountain lion tried to drag the dog away, the woman and passerby struck it with a piece of PVC pipe, and it eventually released its grip on the dog.

The woman drove her dog to a veterinarian, then went to a Redding hospital for treatment.

"The dog's condition is guarded, and it is unknown if she will survive," CDFW said.

However, the San Francisco Gate reports that the owner posted a video late Tuesday night to Instagram which appeared to indicate that dog, Eva, was recovering well.

"There is a potential for Eva to come home as soon as tomorrow afternoon," the owner wrote in the post. 

The woman herself suffered minor injuries consisting of bite wounds, scratches, bruises and abrasions.

CDFW wildlife officers collected samples from the victim, Good Samaritan and the dog for DNA analysis.

"Although DNA analysis from samples taken during the investigation are the most reliable way to conclusively prove an attack has occurred, initial evidence from the investigation is strong enough to allow wildlife officers to treat the investigation as a legitimate attack," CDFW wrote in its release. 

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