Scary Mountain Lion Attack in Arizona County
As the weather begins to warm up in Arizona, many of us try to get out into nature. Taking a break from the city and to reconnect with the outdoors is a great way to welcome spring and feel refreshed.
That may be what the group of rafters who stopped on the banks of the Salt River were imagining. They set up camp at the edge of the river, but according to reports, the peace didn't last long.
The group was quickly on alert as a mountain lion approached and attacked a 64-year-old man in their midst. Ten other rafters in the group quickly grabbled paddles and fought to fend off the mountain lion. They managed to keep the large cat at bay, eventually using their rafts to get to safety. After a time, the mountain lion ran off.
Area wildlife agencies have jumped into locate the animal; Gila County Animal Care and Control, San Carlos Game and Fish, White Mountain Apache Tribe and Arizona Game and Fish have all responded with increased surveillance near the area the attack took place.
No one knows exactly what may have prompted this mountain lion's close approach to a group of people. There is speculation it may be carrying rabies.
According to the website SafetyTalkIdeas.com, some of the signs and symptoms of an animal infected with rabies can include an animal that seems to have difficulty breathing and/or excessive salivation.
Out of character behavior is another clue. For example, an animal which is normally nocturnal, but is seen during the day, could be another sign of rabies.
Aggressive behavior towards humans in a species that usually displays fear or avoidance is also potential sign of rabies in an animal.
The best bet, according to GilaCountyAZ.gov, is to avoid domestic animals acting strangely or unusually. Be sure to let children know they should never approach a non-domesticated animal, not matter how it's behaving, and they should always let an adult know if they're ever bitten or scratched by an animal. Check out the CDC.gov website to learn more about rabies.
The mountain lion is currently at large, but authorities are attempting to track it down so it can be tested. There's no word yet on the man who was attacked.