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9-year-old girl survives rare cougar attack in Washington

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Posted at 8:20 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 11:56:01-04

FRUITLAND, Wash. (AP) — A 9-year-old girl survived a cougar attack after wandering up a trail with two friends while camping in northwest Washington state.

The attack happened Saturday morning near Fruitland, Washington. Witnesses said the girl fought back while her friends ran for their lives.

Adults rushed to help and found the girl covered in blood. She was soon airlifted to a hospital, where she's recovering after surgery for multiple wounds to her head and upper body.

“She 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,” Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife spokesperson Staci Lehman told KIRO 7 in Seattle.

A group found the male cougar and killed it.

Lehman says cougar attacks are rare. She added that cougar attacks have resulted in two fatalities in Washington in the last century.