A 4-year-old girl is lucky to be alive after a mountain lion tried to carry her off from a campsite where she was staying with her family on Friday.
The child, Kelsi Butt, was camping with her family near Green Canyon Hot Springs, Idaho, when she was snatched after her mother put her down for a nap
"It was after dinner that I took her and her cousins to the tent because they were all playing together," the mother, Kera Butt, said about the moments before the attack.
Shortly afterward, Kelsi wandered off. That's when her mother said the mountain lion pounced, clutching her daughter in its mouth.
"It just grabbed her with its teeth and flipped her over and then went to grab her again and we were there," she said. "I ran to her screaming, running at the lion."
When the family began yelling and chasing the cougar, the animal dropped the child and ran off. Kelsi was scratched and bruised but alive.
"I ran over to her and scooped her and she's just clinging to me and the first thing I do is just look at her body," Butt said. "I just look her over and see if I could see anything wrong."
She added, "I'm expecting blood everywhere something, and I see the marks on her ribs and I know she's okay and this overwhelming peace comes over me."
Butt said she thought she saw a large cat while eating dinner earlier in the evening.
"We didn't think we were in danger. We thought it was passing through, but now we know it was actually stalking the kids because they had come up for dinner," she said.
According to Idaho Fish and Game officials cougar attacks and sightings are rare, but small children are often the targets.
Kelsi earned a new nickname from her family after the attack, "Princess Puma." Her family said she asked her mom why she did not video the incident, to which Butt replied, "Well I was busy saving your life!"