Visitors to a popular Northwest campground on the Washington-Idaho border were shocked and saddened Tuesday when a horse had to be put down following a cougar attack. The incident occurred near Camp Gifford, which plays host to more than 150 children each summer in rural Stevens County, Wash.
KREM-TV reports that that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife theorize that the hot weather brought the cougar down from the mountains, but added that it was uncommon for a cougar to attack a horse.
Camp Gifford counselors alerted Fish and Wildlife officials to the attack.
"There was a kid looking at a raspberry bush, trying to pick a raspberry when the counselor saw the cougar resting in the trees," a camp spokesman told KREM-TV. "[The counselor] immediately went to the child, put himself between the cougar and the kid. And then it got up and walked away."
Camp counselors said they immediately closed the wilderness section of the camp and are "keeping kids closer following the attack."