Witnesses said the attack was by a "young lion in very poor condition." He was treated for puncture wounds at a hospital in Alpine and released.
Park Rangers began evacuating campsites and warning hikers off trails on Monday. The closed areas include the Chisos Basin, Window Trail, the Pinnacles, Boulder Meadow, and Juniper Flats. Rangers are hunting for the lion and it will be killed according to park spokesman, David Elkowitz.
Attacks like this are extremely rare and usually indicate a sick, or possibly in this case, a starving lion that could be a result of the severe draught ranging across Texas. To minimize your chances of accidentally confronting a mountain lion, which is a rare occasion since they usually see or hear you first and retreat stealthily into the bush, and what to do if you do come upon one, these recommended actions will diminish your chances of being attacked.
- Ask rangers if there have been lion sightings and if certain areas should be avoided.
- Hike with others and make enough noise through conversation that the lion will hear you coming.
- Make yourself as large as possible, raising your arms over your head and waving them. Do now crouch or sit down.
- If you have young children with you, put them on your shoulders to appear even larger.
- Yell at the lion and make as much noise as possible.
- Throw branches, rocks, anything you can find at it.
- However, if it does attack you, fight back hard, hitting it and jabbing sticks or rocks into its eyes. They are not accustomed to prey that fights back and may give up the attack.
Remember that attacks are rare and should not frighten you away from hiking or camping in areas where mountain lions are found.