Horse recovers from cougar attack in Lewiston

LEWISTON, ID - A horse was attacked by what Idaho Department of Fish and Game Officials believe to be a cougar in Lewiston.

Monday was an emotional day for Bret Christensen, owner of a mare named Dyna, who was attacked by a cougar.

"When I got within 50 feet of her..I could tell she was really hurt," said Christensen. "I'm not good at this sorry."

Bret's daughter Adriana said they immediately knew something was wrong even before they got to her.

"They decided to go out and check on the horses and they found her because she was standing off by herself and that's not normal for a horse," said Adriana.

Dyna's leg was completely torn up, after what looks like a hard fought battle that happened sometime Sunday against a very large cat, according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game District Conservation Officer Mark Hill.

"It was apparent to us, another biologist and I went down to the vet and it was apparent that the harm was caused by a Lion, a cougar," said Hill.

And Christensen said, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.

"Last year we had one of our mares have a baby out there and whatever it was out there got the baby and killed the baby," said Christensen. "So we're no longer going to put our horses out there anymore."

Christensen and his family quickly rounded up all of their other nine horses this afternoon so they can take them home to their property.

Hill said they can tell the size and type of animal by the width in between each of the claw marks and slashes on Dyna.

"We're going to put some dogs on the area and see if we can't pick up a scent," said Hill.

If they can find the cougar, Hill said they'll issue a Kill Permit.

"It'll be euthanized," said Hill. "If we can find the offending cat it'll be euthanized."

But Hill said the dry and hot weather conditions will make it hard for the dogs to be able to track down the animal. It's possible they won't be able to find it.

"My concern is the kids out there," said Christensen. "Just a couple of weeks ago when we went out to check on our horses there was little kids running around where the horses are. And if that cougar is willing to take on a horse, I'm worried about the little kids in the area."

Dyna wasn't stable enough today to undergo surgery on Monday so the vet planned on doing it Tuesday.

Christensen said any and all donations to help pay for Dyna's medical bills are being accepted at the Lewiston Veterinary Hospital.