A hero dog saved its owner from a mountain lion attack as they were hiking in North Carolina. Erin Wilson, 24, narrowly avoided being mauled to death on May 16, all thanks to Eva. Unfortunately, the pup suffered serious injuries helping stave off the attack.
Wilson was hiking with her pet on the Big Bar Pass on May 16 in the rural Trinity River area. That is when the wild cat attacked her. She said that Eva was off-leash a few yards ahead of her when she had just started the hike. Her pickup truck was still in sight on Highway 299 when she was confronted by the growling predator.
It lunged at Wilson, swiping at her left shoulder and scratching her through her jacket. ‘I will never be able to live up to how amazing and loyal she is to me,’ Wilson said at the time.
‘I yelled ‘Eva!’ and she came running,’ the 24-year-old hiker said. ‘And she hit the cat really hard.’
Wilson said that the mountain lion appeared to be emaciated, but still out-classed the 55-pound Belgian Malinois, who is 2 and half years old. ‘They fought for a couple of seconds, and then I heard her start crying,’ Wilson said.
What Exactly Went On on that Trail?
The cougar sunk its fangs into Eva’s head and held on. This was even as Wilson beat it with her fists, rocks, sticks, and whatever she could find. The hiker even tried gouging the cat’s eyes. But, the mountain lion fended the owner off with its back paws.
Wilson then ran to her car to fetch a tire iron to beat the creature with. That is when she flagged down a driver, Sharon Houston. Houston, a self-described ‘overprepared’ camp counselor said Wilson was ‘pretty scrapped up.’
There were few other drivers on the road because Big Bar is so remote that there is no cell phone service in the area. Wilson told her that ‘a mountain lion had just attacked her dog and she wanted to know if I had a weapon.
She said that the frantic dog owner was ‘mad and terrified at the same time.’
‘She was very determined to stop this lion attack so I couldn’t leave her,’ the passerby said. Houston said after more beating on the creature, it let go of the dog and turned its attention back to both women.
The cougar ‘swiped at us and bared its teeth’ Houston told the blog.
‘I opened up my pepper spray and just hosed its face,’ Houston told the blog. ‘It was the longest 5 to 10 seconds…I begged, ‘Please work, please work, please work.’
After the blast of chemical mace, the wild animal finally ran off.
What Happened to Eva after the Lion Attack?
‘I think it’s safe to assume that dog probably saved her life,’ Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told The Sacramento Bee.
It was a frantic trip to the vet’s clinic about an hour away. That’s when Eva began having convulsing spells halfway through the drive.
‘I didn’t think she’d make it every time it started up,’ Wilson said.
The Malinois suffered two skull fractures, a punctured skull cavity, and severe swelling around the left eye. Due to this damage, she had blocked vision.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating the attack by collecting DNA samples from the dog’s wound. They will try to catch the cougar, officials said.
Human mountain lion attacks are rare. There have been 20 such incidents in California since 1986, three fatal. Authorities said that if they do catch the animal, it will be put down.
‘My dog is my hero and I owe her my life,’ Erin said. Unfortunately, the pup died after suffering several seizures this morning. This is according to her owner’s Instagram, in which she said goodbye to her faithful pup.
The post read: ‘We said goodbye at 9:20 this morning. There were no changes to her condition overnight. Goodbye, my beautiful sweet girl.’
‘You are my world, my light, my best friend. The world is a much darker place.’