A 6-year-old was brutally attacked by a mountain lion while walking in a Texas park this past week.
The boy, River Hobbs, was attacked Sunday by the animal as his family returned to their room from the park’s main lodge, according to Fox. The attack took place in the Chisos Basin area of the park, where the boy sustained serious injuries.
The animal reportedly pounced on River’s back and if it weren’t for the boy’s quick thinking dad, he may not be alive today. The boy’s father, Jason Hobbs, whipped out a pocketknife and stabbed the mountain lion in the chest. The animal fled after sustaining the knife.
River was rushed to the hospital after sustaining major wounds to his face, which required 17 stitches. According to Fox, when he gets home, he will receive further treatment including rabies shots.
Park rangers closed the high Chisos Mountain trails following the attack in the area at around 8 a.m. Monday to patrol for the animal. Additionally, a trained, professional dog team was summoned to the park to help track the lion though it has yet to be located.
The park also closed some areas due to the incident including Window Trail, Pinnacles, Boulder Meadow, and Juniper Flat campsites of the Chisos Mountains. The areas will remained closed until further notice.
“Children are not advised to hike in the Chisos Mountains at this time and visitors should check on trail closures, which may change,” read a Big Bend National Park press release.
This news comes on the heels of the park receiving an accolade: Big Ben National Park was designated as an “International Dark Sky Park.” According to Associated Press, it has been dubbed one of the ten places in the world certified to have especially dark night skies favored for stargazing.
“Measurements by the National Park Service Night Sky Team show that the Big Bend Region offers the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 states making it a worthy jewel to the worldwide crown of dark sky oases recognized by the International Dark- Sky Association,” read an International Dark-Sky Association press release. “With an area of over 801,000 acres, Big Bend National Park is also the largest International Dark Sky Park to date.”