Woman drives off mountain lion

Jan. 26, 2007 at 8:15 AM
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EUREKA, Calif., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A 65-year-old woman hiking in a state park near Eureka, Calif., drove off a mountain lion after it clasped her husband's head in its jaws.

Nell Hamm said she tried screaming at the animal that had grabbed her 70-year-old husband, Jim, Thursday at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, hitting its back with a branch and even stabbing it in the eye with a pen, Media News reported Friday.

"It wouldn't let go, no matter how hard I hit it," she said.

"That lion never flinched," she said. "I just knew it was going to kill him."

However, after breaking the pen in an attempt to stab the large cat, Hamm tried the branch again -- this time slamming it into the lion's nose. That convinced the big cat to drop Jim Hamm and turn its attention to his wife.

"I thought he was going to attack me," Nell said.

However, the cat chose instead to slink away into the ferns.

Jim Hamm was recovering Friday in the intensive care unit of Mad River Community Hospital after surgery.

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