Cougar that attacked young girl tests negative for rabies

FRUITLAND, Wash. – The cougar that attacked a young girl in Stevens County Saturday tested negative for rabies. 

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife said 9-year-old Lily is in stable condition after being released from the intensive care unit on Monday. 

Hospital staff said she was “very brave and tough” in the face of the attack. 

Lily was playing hide-and-seek in the woods with two friends when she was attacked by the animal. 

The young male cougar was killed at the scene. WDFW officers were at the camp throughout the weekend combing through the scene trying to understand how the events unfolded. 

“We are extremely thankful for this little girl’s resiliency and we’re impressed with her spunk, in the face of this unfortunate encounter,” said WDFW Police Capt. Mike Sprecher. “It happened fast and we are thankful that the adults at the camp responded so quickly.” 

Cougar attacks on humans are rare. There have been two fatal attacks in Washington and 19 that resulted in injuries in the past 100 years. 

If you do encounter a cougar, never turn and run. Instead: 

  • Make eye contact with the animal and back away slowly
  • If the cougar approaches you, try to look as big as possible. Stand on a rock and put your hands above your head
  • Be assertive and yell, throw rocks or other items at it 
  • If it attacks, fight back. Do not play dead with cougars

READ: ‘In my mind forever’: Young girl recovering after cougar attack, rescuer describes discovery

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