Eva, the dog who heroically saved her owner from a mountain lion attack along the Trinity River, died unexpectedly on Wednesday following a long stint of veterinarian visits.
According to Eva’s owner, Erin Wilson, the 2½-year-old Belgian Malinois began experiencing seizures over the weekend in Trinity County. She brought Eva back to a veterinarian in Redding and eventually to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where a ventilator was applied on the ailing dog. Unfortunately, she never woke up. Wilson plans to bury Eva in fiance’s parent’s backyard.
“Goodbye my beautiful sweet girl,” Wilson wrote on Instagram. “You are my world, my light, my best friend. The world is a much darker place.”
The incident occurred on May 16 at the Whites Bar Picnic Area near Big Bar along the Trinity River when a mountain lion attacked Erin Wilson. She yelled out to her dog, Eva, who then fought off the large cat while Wilson was able to flag down help on nearby Highway 299.
“She was only a few yards ahead of me and attacked the lion,” wrote Wilson. “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.
Officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tested samples from both Wilson and Eva and concluded that a mountain lion was indeed the perpetrator in the attack.
“DNA evidence conclusively proves a mountain lion is responsible for the May 16 attack on a woman and her dog in Trinity County,” wrote the CDFW in a statement. “CDFW will continue to work with allied agency partners to capture the offending mountain lion. If we are successful in capturing a mountain lion, we will take DNA samples to confirm we have captured the lion involved in this incident. If DNA proves we have caught the correct lion, CDFW will further evaluate the situation.”
Wildlife officials caution anyone who may be roaming around potential mountain lion habitats. This attack could have ended much worse. Luckily for Wilson, she had Eva by her side.