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Dog saved from jaws of mountain lion

Custom_sam_sheepdog_300_thumb By Martha | Draft | Comments (7)

Heidi survived a mountain lion attack

An 11-year-old dog is lucky to be alive after a mountain lion attacked her while she was out on a hike with her family. The big cat had clamped its jaws over the dog's head and was dragging her away when the dog's guardian was able to scare the cat away.

Lu Krueger-Andersen and her friend were hiking with Heidi, a beagle-foxhound mix, in the upper Fryingpan Valley, east of Basalt in Colorado on Saturday. Heidi was on-leash the entire trek, but when they stopped for lunch near a creek, she was allowed off leash.

Just as they were getting ready to leave, Heidi dashed down the trail before she was releashed and that's when the cat attacked. The cat had probably been tracking the hikers, waiting for an opportune time to strike.

"Lu watched her go around the bend and then heard an awful sound," said husband Paul Andersen.

The mountain lion had grabbed hold of Heidi's head in its powerful jaws and was dragging Heidi off the trail and toward a ravine. Heidi struggled to break free. She was digging in her feet and resisting being pulled when Lu sprung into action.

"Lu, without thinking, just reacted like a tiger mom, as I call it," Andersen said. Grabbing her hiking poles, Lu clanged them above her head, screamed at the top of her lungs and and barreled towards the cat. The mountain lion was so startled it let go of Heidi and ran away.

Heidi was so terrified she ran several miles back to the trailhead with the women running after her.

When they caught up to her, they rushed her to an emergency veterinary clinic in Basalt. She was "a bloody mess" and was diagnosed with a fractured skull and two puncture wounds atop her head and one beneath her jaw.

Unfortunately, the attack may have caused some brain damage and blindness in one eye. Heidi has refused to eat since the attack, so the family has had to force feed her a mix of her canned dog food and medications. Despite her injuries and ill health, the family still hopes that she will recover.

On Thursday morning, Heidi was resting comfortably in a favorite, sunny spot outside the family's home.

The family is circumspect about the attack, but say the attack drove home how important it is to keep a dog on leash at all times in wilderness areas. "The leash thing is not only a courtesy and a regulation in some places, it's a life saver for any pet that could be prey," Anderson said.

It's also one of the risks one takes living near the wilderness. "This could have happened in our back yard,” he said. "A cat could have taken her any time."

via the Aspen Times



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Comments on this Article

Sat June 30 '12 All are very lucky!!! Not a religious person, but my thoughts are with you all!!! Vancouver BC Canada
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy would greatly reduce swelling in the brain. There are many units in Calif. but I am not sure where they are in Colorado. Contact a Veterinary college near you and see if they might be able to help. There are also many off label HBOT units for people so give them a call for help. HBOT get toxins out of the system and that is part of the problem with swelling in the brain. Best of luck---you were brave for your dog.
Hello Dan Hetland, exactly right, but anyway, people have realized that it's almost too late to correct the way to go, we must eliminate the profit think and format a community with, the plant received the waters and the environment, without water, without the plants provide oxygen and no life is possible. if mankind does so on, we leave our children a Martian landscape. I hope Heidi is well soon and wish you a speedy recovery!
Lu I'm just glad you and Heidi both survived the ordeal. I hope Heidi continues to improve and suffers no ill effects from her entanglement with the big cat. As the other bloggers have said, it's unusual for them to attack like that, so something has upset her ecosystem and that is a shame, because it was more likely than not, human. Sadly, we tend to upset more than we repair and more and more animals are sent scurrying for new living and hunting areas, that encroach on other animals areas and there just isn't enough to go around as the humans take over. Much like we did with the Indians. It's just wrong on so many levels.
Never heard of mice & chipmunks being the "normal" diet for a large cat such as a mountain lion. Hardly seems substantial enough. Here in the deserts surrounding Las Vegas their main prey is big horn sheep. Mountain lions eat large mammals such as deer, and smaller mammals such as mice, squirrels, porcupines, raccoons, rabbits and beavers. The main diet of Mountain Lions in Texas is deer, specifically white-tailed deer in Southern Texas and mule deer in Western Texas. It is estimated that a Mountain Lion will consume between 19 and 40 deer per year. Other prey species included in the Mountain Lion’s diet in Texas are collared peccaries (javelinas), feral hogs, porcupines and jackrabbits. Prey such as these are important buffer species and their presence in the ecosystem decreases the number of deer (and other large prey species) a Mountain Lion kills. An important role of Mountain Lions is to regulate wild populations of deer and other prey species by not allowing the prey species to overpopulate. A direct result of Mountain Lion absence is the overpopulation of deer which causes overgrazing and habitat exploitation
Oh, I hope Heidi does not have a shock of the attack, some dogs do not die from the bite injuries but the shock. I wish the owners love and happen early recovery from Heidi. I am pleased that the dog owner's Heidi verteitigt life as if it were one of your children, I would not have acted differently? Well done!
having lived in the wild, the first thing i learned is that cats will NOT go into your back yard under normal circumstances. if a wild cat is approaching human habitation, it's bec it is under duress - its habitat has been decimated by things like construction or logging or for some reason it simply cannot find enough food. the cat's normal diet is mostly rodents like chipmunks, mice, squirrels, and rabbits and they have a population cycle to which the cat's reproductive cycle is tuned: when rodent population goes sky-high, cats have more babies but sometimes the rodent population plummets due to disease or whatever and now there's cats with babies they are desperate to feed and that's when they start braving human habitation and going after prey they would not normally consider.
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