A Colorado mom whose 5-year-old son was being attacked by a mountain lion leapt into action Friday, fighting off the animal and potentially saving the boy's life, NBC News reports. The boy was playing with his older brother in their yard about 10 miles outside of Aspen when his mother heard screaming. She ran outside to see a mountain lion attacking her young son. According to a police statement quoted by CNN, the boy's mom "physically removed her son from the mountain lion." The boy was rushed to the hospital, where he is in fair condition with injuries to his head, face, and neck. His mom suffered minor injuries to her hands and legs.
Pitkin County sheriff's deputies and a US Forest Service officer found the mountain lion under some trees in the family's yard and killed it, the Aspen Times reports. “Since it was still there, it was either injured or very ill, so they dispatched it,” Undersheriff Ron Ryan says. They were also looking for a second mountain lion spotted in the area on Friday. Experts say it's rare to even see a mountain lion in Colorado, let alone be attacked by one. Not even a dozen people have been killed by mountain lions over the past 100 years in North America. (Read more mountain lion stories.)