Kelsi Butt faced a mountain lion that was three times her weight and survived the ordeal. This year the Butts/Sevys had a family reunion that they will never forget.
On Friday, several members of the two families got together at Green Canyon Hot Springs in Newdale, Idaho to camp, hike, and spend some quality time together.
During dinner, Kera Butt looked at her husband and told him that she had just seen a big mountain lion walking through the trees. The clan thought nothing of Mrs. Butt’s comment and kept on eating. Israel Butt shared his wife’s comment with the media by saying:
“We were eating dinner and my wife looked off into the distance and said, ‘I just saw a cat run by! A big cat!’.And we were sort of like, ‘No way! You’re crazy!’ And just went back to eating our dinner.”
After dinner, Kelsi Butt, 4, and two cousins ages 2 and 12, decided to walk to a nearby creek to play. During the little stroll, a 93-pound mountain lion appeared out of nowhere and grabbed the girl with its teeth.
When Kera Butt, Kelsi’s mom, heard the children screaming, she ran to their aid, only to discover that her little girl was about to be eaten by a creature. The mountain lion, which weighed 93 pounds, had Kelsi, 36 lbs., in its mouth and dragging her into the forest.
The animal “dropped Kelsi, turned her over and pounced on her with both paws,” according to Carol Sevy, her grandmother. Sevy added:
“The mountain lion bit Kelsi on the side and tried to pick her up and drag the girl with her mouth. It didn’t have a good hold, so it put its paws on her to get a better grip.”
According to Mrs. Butt, she has no idea what took her, but she started screaming at the lion to let go of her child, and it worked. The child, who suffered numerous bites from the animal, was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors treated them, gave her antibiotics, and a rabies shot. The father revealed:
“Claw marks covered her back, leg, upper thigh and arm. Kelsi was sobbing as she told her mother she hurt everywhere. We rushed her to the emergency room, she is fine but doctors are worried about the bites becoming infected because cats are so filthy and those bite marks can become really infected. She’s on antibiotics and they’ve given her rabies shots as well, it’s protocol.”
Less than five hours after the incident, authorities found and killed the wild animal. Gregg Losinski, a representative of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the Madison County Sheriff’s office, explained that the lion was taken down with the hound dogs. Losinski said:
“Hound dogs brought in by the officers forced the lion down from a tree, and it was then shot and killed by sheriff deputies. When lions do attack, records indicate that small children are often the targets.”
He went on to say:
“This family showed how vigilance and quick thinking can help avert a tragedy’. It could have gone the other way so easily. She could have been gone and we would have never seen her. You really have to keep your eyes open when you’re out camping.”
Since the attack, Kelsi, who has been given the nickname Puma Princess has left the hospital, went to church, and went back to the same camping site with her family.
Mr. Butt concluded the interview by saying that his little girl had a few nightmares and is doing well now. The father explained:
“I can’t even begin to describe how thankful and lucky we are. We still have our little girl with us.”
The story of this young child and the mountain lion sparked many conversations online.