The 9-year-old girl who survived a cougar attack outside a kids camp in Washington is out of the hospital, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her uncle.
Lily Kryzhanivskyy returned home June 3, according to her uncle, Alex Mantsevich.
“She was opening all her presents and sharing some stories about the accident, although her fingers are wrapped up,” Mantsevich posted on the GoFundMe page, along with two pictures of Lily. “She played piano. We thank everyone of you for praying and supporting Lily on her path to recovery. She has many appointments scheduled already and she need your support and prayers. ...
“We pray for full recovery.”
More than $100,000 has been donated toward Lily’s medical expenses. The Deseret News verified with a GoFundMe representative that the campaign is legitimate and was established by Mantsevich.
What happened in the Washington cougar attack?
Kryzhanivskyy was attacked by a juvenile male mountain lion May 28 near Fruitland, Washington, which is northwest of Spokane. She was playing hide-and-seek with two friends on a trail.
The 9-year-old, who has her own YouTube channel of music videos featuring her vocals, told her uncle that the animal “was so beautiful, but he was really mean to me,” Mantsevich told KHQ Q6 in Washington.
Adults at the camp responded quickly, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Mike Sprecher of the WDFW Police described Lily as resilient in the face of the attack, saying “we’re impressed with her spunk.”
“It happened fast and we are thankful that the adults at the camp responded so quickly,” Sprecher said.
The animal was killed at the scene.
“It’s going to be in my mind and my heart forever,” one of the rescuers, Ivan Zhuk, told KXLY News in Spokane. “She was under the tree. I thought she was dead ... covered in blood, basically.”
How common are cougar attacks in the West?
According to Kyle Dunphey of the Deseret News, cougar encounters are increasing due to residential development into the foothills, increased recreation on public land and a historic drought that brings deer populations into the suburbs.
“Just seeing a (mountain) lion is so rare,” Darren DeBloois, of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, told the Deseret News. “If you’re looking for an uptick, it’s hard to quantify that. But it certainly seems like we’re seeing more and more reports of people running into them in the field.”
Still, mountain lion attacks on humans are rare. The attack on Kryzhanivskyy was the first in Washington in four years, according to KIRO. There have been two fatal attacks in the state in the past 100 years, according to WDFW.
There have been four cougar attacks in Utah since 2005, according to the DWR.
What to do if you’re attacked by a cougar
In the rare event of an encounter, wildlife officials recommend the following:
- Don’t run.
- Don’t break eye contact.
- Make noise and make yourself appear as large as possible.
- Use bear spray if it’s available.