Updated: Hiker In Big Bend National Park Attacked By Mountain Lion

Editor's note: This updates with a few more details of the attack, area still closed.

A remote section of Big Bend National Park remained closed Monday in the wake of a mountain lion attack that left a visitor with minor injuries.

The attack Friday in the Mesa de Anguila area of the park was the second this year involving a park visitor. Officials were unclear, though, whether the mountain lion viewed the visitors as prey, or was simply curious.

David Elkowitz, the park's chief of interpretation, also said it was unclear whether the scratches and scrapes sustained by Andrea Pinero Cebrian, a visitor from Spain, were inflicted by the lion or incurred when she fell while trying to run away from the animal.

"The people involved walked out, they received treatment, they left," Chief Elkowitz said Monday morning. "There’s been multiple patrols looking for the animal. It hasn’t been seen again. All accounts are that it seems to have been a young animal. The area is still closed. It’s a very remote area on the west side of the park.”

According to reports collected by rangers, Ms. Cebrian and two friends initially saw the mountain lion from a distance and tried to scare it off by throwing rocks. A short time later they encountered the lion again and tried to flee by running down a trail, he said.

Last February a young boy was attacked as he and his family were walking outside the Chisos Lodge after dinner, witnesses said at the time. Prior to that attack, the last time the park, which has about two dozen mountains lions within its borders, recorded a mountain lion attack was in May 2003.

Chief Elkowitz said he couldn't recall another year during his 10 years at the park when there were two or more mountain lion attacks.

Comments

Really, because throwing rocks at a wild animal was such a good idea.

From the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


IF the lion is aggressive, throw rocks, sticks, or anything you can get your hands on.

Do not turn your back on the lion. Back away slowly.

Do NOT run.


So it turns out that throwing rocks IS at least a recommended idea but running is not. Not that we have enough information to pass judgement on these folks though.