An eight-year-old boy was bitten on the head by a mountain lion outside his home in rural Colorado.
The attack prompted authorities to euthanise two lions that were found roaming the area.
The boy had been playing with his brother outside their home in the town of Bailey on Wednesday evening when he ran to a house next door. The mountain lion pounced and bit him on the head.
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The boy's father rushed outside and found the cat on top of his son. The mountain lion let go and ran off as the father approached.
"It's quite heroic. He did everything that we would ask somebody to do," Rebecca Ferrell, a spokeswoman for the wildlife agency, said about the boy's father.
"He ran towards it. He was making himself large and loud. ... His efforts almost certainly saved his son's life."
The boy was taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Ms Ferrell said the children's high-pitched voices probably sounded like prey to the mountain lion, and its instinct to attack could have been triggered when the boy started running to his neighbour's house.
There have been 22 mountain lion attacks on people in Colorado since 1990 and