Mountain Lion Photo Credit: gkuchera (iStock).

Photo Credit: gkuchera (iStock).

An Estes Park man took quick action to save his 70-pound boxer named Sadie after she was attacked by a mountain lion in their backyard days ago.

Gene Whannel had let his dog out into early morning darkness last week when he heard a sound that he recognized as being from a mountain lion. He spotted the big cat on his dog and immediately ran toward the two entangled animals, reactively grabbing a surveying stick along the way. After hitting the mountain lion multiple times with the stick, the mountain lion released Sadie's head.

Despite puncture wounds and a missing eye, Sadie is expected to recover after what Whannel called a three-hour procedure with lots of stitch-work on his personal Facebook page.

Hear the full story in the video below:

One of two recent mountain lion attacks involving pets in the Estes Park vicinity, Sadie was attacked in a residential area near Prospect Mountain – in city limits and close to Estes Park Health. The other attack happened near the Beaver Meadows Entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. In that incident, the dog did not survive.

Following initial reports of the attacks, the Estes Park Pet Association issued a public service announcement that urged pet owners to be aware of predator risks and to take safety measures to protect their animals.

Pet owners are urged to inspect an outdoor space before letting their animal outside, especially at night. Accompanying a dog outside in close proximity can also be an effective lion deterrent.

Keeping dogs leashed during walks is also advised, as is avoiding walks during the hours of dusk, dawn, and night.

While mountain lion attacks on humans are rare, pets make a more favorable prey. Even large dogs can fall victim to a mountain lion. Keep a mindful eye and protect your pet. To a mountain lion, a dog is just another source of food.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike. Follow along with his adventures on Instagram at @spence.outside


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