UPDATED 5:15 PM PT – Saturday, February 20, 2021
A Colorado man showed there are no limits when it comes to protecting “man’s best friend” as he fought off a mountain lion while it attacked his dog. On Thursday, Gene Whannel saved his boxer, Sadie, from a wildcat that somehow got into his backyard in Estes Park.
Whannel, whose property backs up to public land, took Sadie out in the morning. However, just moments later the mountain lion attacked her.
“I saw that she was in a wrestling match with something,” Whannel said. “From that distance, I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but my suspicion was a mountain lion. So, really without even thinking I just kind of reacted.”
He said he heard Sadie crying out and instantly grabbed the first sharp object he could find, which was an old surveying stake.
“I hit the mountain lion once and he made eye contact with me and I swung and hit him again, the second time was in the face,” Whannel added. “The mountain lion released Sadie. Its jaws were on Sadie’s head, so pretty much a death grip.”
According to reports, Sadie was badly injured and rushed to the vet. She had to undergo surgery and ultimately lost an eye, but her owner said it could have been much worse. Whannel noted Sadie’s spirits were high as she began the long road to recovery. He wants to warn other dog owners to be aware of the dangers of living among mountain lions.
If you live in mountain lion country, please take necessary precautions to protect yourselves & your pets.
-Avoid walking your pets from dusk to dawn
-Keep pets leashed
-Scan your backyard before taking pets out to use the bathroom & accompany them
-Don’t leave pets unattended pic.twitter.com/0nBvgPzI7k
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) February 17, 2021
In the meantime, Colorado Parks and Wildlife suggested if your pet is attacked to yell loudly and throw things from a safe distance before attempting to get close.