A brave nine-year-old girl, who was attacked by a cougar while camping with her family at the weekend, has been released from the intensive care unit.
The attack occurred when Lily Kryzhanivskyy was playing hide-and-seek with friends at a camp near Fruitland, Washington on Saturday.
Lily was found covered in blood when adults rushed to the scene of the attack, which was the first of its kind in the state this year.
She was airlifted to hospital and had to have surgery for wounds to her head and upper body.
Lily’s mum called her daughter's recovery amazing, telling The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) that Lily wants people to know she was “very brave and tough.”
“We are extremely thankful for this little girl’s resiliency and we're impressed with her spunk, in the face of this unfortunate encounter,” Fish and Wildlife Police Captain Mike Sprecher said in a written statement.
“It happened fast and we are thankful that the adults at the camp responded so quickly.”
A GoFundMe was created by Lily’s family to help cover her medical expenses and time off work as Lily’s mother, Yelena, takes care of her.
So far, the fundraiser has raised $78,000 of a $100,000 goal in only three days.
The cougar that attacked Lilly was killed at the scene and tested, showing that it did not have rabies.
This was the first cougar attack in Washington state in 2022, according to WDFW.
“In this instance, this little girl did nothing wrong,” said Staci Lehman, a spokeswoman for Fish and Wildlife.
“It happened so quickly, and there’s nothing she could have done to prevent it.”
The attacks are extremely rare in the state, with only 20 attacks on humans in the past 100 years.
Of those attacks, there have only been two deaths.
If you are attacked by a cougar, experts advise you to yell at the animal and to try making yourself look bigger.
“Do not turn around. Don’t take your eyes off the animal,” said Lehman. “Don’t run.”
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