In what she called a “horrific experience,” a California mother scared off a mountain lion that had cornered her 4-year-old son. However, this wasn’t on a camping trip in the wilderness. The incident occurred on Tuesday, September 6 at the property in Los Angeles’ Beverly Hills area, Nidah Barber-Raymond told Newsweek.
Barber-Raymond is an actress and entrepreneur that owns a skin care clinic. The incident with the mountain lion shocked her. “I am terrified to think about what would’ve happened if I had not come in time,” she said.
Mountain lions are a species native to North and South America. They can be found across Canada’s Yukon Territory and south into the Strait of Magellan. In the United States, they are most common in fourteen western states, including mountains, forests, deserts, and marshes. Although encounters with between people and mountain lions are rare, and the chances of an attack are even smaller, wildlife authorities urge extra caution in areas where these animals are known to live.
On Tuesday evening, Barber-Raymond stated that she first became aware of an issue when her son was sobbing on the back deck of their home. When his mother was in the kitchen about 25 feet away, she found out what was going on. “[The mountain lion] was staring at my son,” the mother explained. “He was about 4 feet away from him. [the animal] was staring at him like he was dinner. He looked thin and hungry.”
The mother sprang into action against the mountain lion
“I was in shock thinking this can’t be happening,” Barber-Raymond said. It was hard for her to believe it was really happening. “I thought I was seeing things. I did a double take. My son was squeezing his fists crying with his face in his hands.”
Barber-Raymond then ran out onto the deck and screamed at the mountain lion—which she said was about the size of a relatively large dog. The cat snarled back while Barber-Raymond charged. “The cat stood there staring at my son. I started yelling and taking a step towards him like I was about to lunge at him—trying to intimidate him—and I yelled at the top of my lungs telling him to get out,” she explained. “He immediately leapt onto the retaining wall and ran away.”
The father said that in the past, a mountain lion had visited their home—a year ago, a neighbor saw one on the retaining wall while they were away. A mountain lion was fought off by another brave California mother last year. The wild animal attacked her 5-year-old son. An eyewitness said the mother literally attached the beast with her bare hands before the animal retreated. Her son had significant injuries but survived. The Mountain lion was later killed by authorities.