Several areas of Big Bend National Park have been closed to the public in the wake of a mountain lion attack on a young boy, who received non-fatal injuries to his face.
The unidentified 6-year-old was attacked Sunday evening as he and his family were leaving the Chisos Lodge after dinner, according to witnesses.
A park visitor who posted an account of the incident on a Backpacker.com forum board said the family had "finished dinner about 10 minutes before my wife and I did and left with some left over food that the boys didn't eat. As we were leaving the lodge to return to our room, the family came up to us screaming that they had been attacked by a mountain lion. As we backed into the lodge, we could see clearly that the older boy had been attacked as he was bleeding with a clear puncture wounds to his face. EMS arrived and the boy will be OK although he will probably need some stitches."
The individual went on to write that earlier that day while hiking on the park's Windows Trail a family with young children "was aggressively approached by a juvenile lion and ended up snatching one of their backpacks. Later the family recovered the shredded backpack on the trail and saw the young lion with a full grown adult that ignored them."
Park officials could not be reached Tuesday evening for comment, and a brief release from the park about the attack on the 6-year-old did not go into details nor mention the other encounter. The release did say, though, that Chisos Mountain trails were closed Monday morning while crews looked for the animal. While a dog team was called in to help with the search, it was not immediately able to track the cat.
Trail and campsite closures included the Window Trail, as well as the Pinnacles, Boulder Meadow, and Juniper Flat campsites of the Chisos Mountains. Children are not advised to hike in the Chisos Mountains at this time and visitors should check on trail closures, the release said.
For updates or additional information, visitors were told to call the park at 432-477-1107.