A woman’s best friend! California woman is SAVED by her Belgian malinois after she was attacked on hiking trail, but loyal pet sustained horrific injuries including a fractured skull
- Erin Wilson, 24, was hiking with her dog Eva in the Big Bar Pass in Northern California
- The cougar took a swipe at the hiker’s left shoulder before the dog counterattacked
- The 55-pound dog was no match for the hungry mountain lion, which had latched onto the pooch’s head
- Wilson hit the cat with her fits, rocks and sticks, but a passerby who was flagged down fended off the cat with pepper spray
A California hiker narrowly avoided being mauled to death by a mountain lion thanks to her fierce Belgian shepherd, Eva, who suffered serious injuries helping stave off the attack.
‘I will ever be able to live up to how amazing and loyal she is to me,’ the dog’s owner, Erin Wilson, 24, said.
Wilson was hiking with her pet on the Big Bar Pass on May 16 in the rural Trinity River area of Northern California when the wild cat attacked her, swiping at her left shoulder thorough her jacket.
‘I yelled ‘Eva!’ and she came running,’ the 24-year-old hiker said. ‘And she hit the cat really hard.’
Wilson said that the moutain 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 seconds, and then I heard her start crying,’ Wilson said.
The cougar sunk its fangs into Eva’s head and held on even as Wilson beat it with her fists, rocks, sticks and what ever else she could find. The hiker even tried gouging the cat’s eyes.
The mountain lion fended the owner off with its back paws.
‘They battled for a few moments until I heard her cry,’ Wilson said on the crowd funding site GoFundMe. ‘The cat had her by the left side of her head. For the next several minutes I tried everything I could to free her. ‘
Wilson ran to her car to fetch a tire iron to beat the creature with and flagged down passerby, Sharon Houston, who had a PVC pipe and some pepper spray.
The creature finally let go after Houston doused it with a blast of chemical mace and ran off.
Erin Wilson, 24, is pictured with her dog Eva before the horrific cougar attack that left the pooch with skull fractures
Valiant Belgian Malinois, Eva, pictured here with her owner Erin Wilson, 24, before both were attacked by a vicious mountain lion in Northern California
‘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, Eva began having convulsing spells half way 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 sever swelling around the left eye, which blocks her vision.
‘She is still not out of the woods, she is heavily sedated until we can be sure the pressure in her head is reduced,’ Wilson said. ‘The vet is optimistic.’
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife are investigating the attack, collecting DNA samples from the dog’s wounds and will try to catch the cougar, officials said.
Attacks on humans by mountain lions 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.
Wilson said that when Eva pulls through she’s going to shower her with gifts, her favorite stuffed toys and a steak dinner.
‘My dog is my hero and I owe her my life,’ she said.