Erin Wilson and her dog Eva were enjoying a beautiful day at the Whites Bar Picnic Area near Big Bar along the Trinity River on Tuesday when she experienced an outdoor lover’s worst nightmare. A mountain lion attacked her, swiping at her and cutting her shoulder. In order to save her life, her hero Belgian Malinois came to her rescue and fought off the large cat.
Now, Eva is in the care of a veterinarian dealing with potentially life-threatening injuries. Wilson has set up a GoFundMe for the vet bills, which has already garnered more than $25,000 in funds.
After Eva defended Wilson against the mountain lion, a battle ensued to keep the cat from doing any further damage.
“She was only a few yards ahead of me and attacked the lion,” wrote Wilson on her GoFundMe. “They battled for a few moments until I heard her cry. The cat had her by the left side of her head. For the next several minutes I tried everything i could to free her. Eventually I ran to my vehicle for a weapon and flagged down assistance from a kind woman named Sharon. Together we beat at the cat while yelling until my dog was let go.”
The woman who was flagged down was Sharon Houston, who accompanied Wilson in fending off the cat with a baton. The mountain lion eventually released the dog and Houston sprayed it with pepper spray, likely saving the two women and the dog from an even longer battle.
After the attack ended, Wilson embarked on the hour-long drive to a veterinarian in Redding, where Eva is currently dealing with serious injuries. Wilson was also treated for her injuries, which consisted of “bite wounds, scratches, bruises and abrasions, but are non-life threatening,” according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The CDFW interviewed everyone involved in the incident, including the vet who collected samples for analysis.
“The samples were delivered to the CDFW Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento and are being processed,” stated the CDFW. “Although DNA analysis from samples taken during the investigation are the most reliable way to conclusively prove an attack has occurred, initial evidence from the investigation is strong enough to allow wildlife officers to treat the investigation as a legitimate attack.”
Wildlife officials are now working in the area to trap the offending mountain lion and will further evaluate the situation if it is caught.