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Two mountain lions euthanized after attack on 5-year-old boy near Aspen

Posted: 2:40 PM, Jun 18, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-19 00:28:13Z

The two mountain lions blamed for the attack on a five-year-old boy near Aspen were younger than two years old, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials.

The mother of the boy was inside a home on Lower River Road when she heard her son screaming outside. When she went to see what was happening, she found the boy with a mountain lion on top of him. The woman ran to her son and was able to physically free him from the lion. The boy and his mother were both sent to the hospital Friday after the attack. 

The boy has injuries to his neck, face and head. The mother has injuries to her arm and legs.

Police got the call at 7:49 p.m. Law enforcement and Parks and Wildlife staff responded to the home and found a mountain lion in the area. They killed the first mountain lion and searched for a second animal that witnesses said was involved in the attack. They found the animal and put it down, too.

The animals were taken to the Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins to be studied to see if they're linked to the attack. Scientists will study the saliva, fur and claws. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Matt Robbins, the animals are both under two years old. Their sex and weight were not available.

"While this is rare, it is not completely uncommon. Here in Colorado we have had three fatalities to lions since 1990. Since 1970, we've had 18 injuries reported to the industry specifically from lions," said Robbins. 

Robbins also said fighting the animal off was the right call by the mother. 

"Obviously, you don't want to become engaged with the animal," Robbins said. "You want to present yourself as large [and] in command, don't turn and run, but back away slowly, talking firmly. But if that animal engages, not just a lion, but a bear, you want to fight, you want to put up a resistance and you want to let the animal know you're not an easy prey."

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