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"Very brave and tough" | 9-year-old girl attacked by cougar released from ICU

Nine-year-old Lily Kryzhanivskyy was attacked Saturday near Fruitland while playing a game of hide-and-seek.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A nine-year-old girl, who was attacked by a cougar in Stevens County over the weekend, has been released from the intensive care unit.

Lily Kryzhanivskyy was attacked on Saturday around 11 a.m. at a kids camp near Fruitland, Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said prior to the attack, Lily was playing hide-and-seek in the woods with two other children. When Lily jumped out to surprise her friends, the cougar suddenly attacked.

Lily was rushed to a hospital and is currently in stable condition.

Her mother described Lily's recovery as "amazing" and told WDFW that Lily wants people to know she was “very brave and tough.”

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

The family has started a GoFund Me to help cover medical expenses and time off work. To donate to Lily's GoFund Me, click here.

Credit: WDFW

The cougar that attacked was killed at the scene. Tests on the young male cougar showed the animal did not have rabies.

According to WDFW, this is the first cougar attack in Washington state this year.

WDFW says cougar attacks are extremely rare in Washington. In the past 100 years, there have only 20 cougar attacks in the state. Cougar attacks have only resulted in two know deaths in that same period of time. 

If you do encounter a cougar here are some important tips to prevent an attack: 

  • Don't run. Face the cougar. Talk to it firmly while slowly backing away. 
  • Do not take your eyes off the cougar or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
  • Try to appear larger than the cougar. Get above it. If wearing a jacket, hold it open to further increase your apparent size.
  • If the cougar does not flee, be more assertive. Shout, wave your arms and throw anything you have available.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back. Be aggressive and try to stay on your feet. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.

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