Saturday, January 27, 2007

Woman Saves Husband From Mountain Lion

ABC News reported Thursday about a couple in Northern California.

Wildlife officials on Thursday credited a woman with saving her husband's life by clubbing a mountain lion that attacked him while the couple were hiking in a California state park.

Jim and Nell Hamm, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next month, were hiking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park when the lion pounced.

"He didn't scream. It was a different, horrible plea for help, and I turned around, and by then the cat had wrestled Jim to the ground," Nell Hamm said in an interview from the hospital where her husband was recovering from a torn scalp, puncture wounds and other injuries.

And how did the intrepid Mrs. Hamm save her husband?

Nell Hamm said she grabbed a four-inch-wide log and beat the animal with it, but it would not release its hold on her husband's head.

"Jim was talking to me all through this, and he said, 'I've got a pen in my pocket and get the pen and jab him in the eye,'" she said. "So I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn't want to go in as easy as I thought it would."

When the pen bent and became useless, Nell Hamm went back to using the log. The lion eventually let go and, with blood on its snout, stood staring at the woman. She screamed and waved the log until the animal walked away.

She couldn't leave her husband behind while she went for help, so she helped him walk out to safety.

Nell Hamm warned people never to hike in the backcountry alone. Park rangers told the couple if Jim Hamm had been alone, he probably would not have survived.

"We fought harder than we ever have to save his life, and we fought together," she said.

I love this story of a couple in their seventies fighting off a huge predator. Together. It warms the heart and leaves two lessons:

1. As Nell Hamm said, never hike in the wilderness alone.

2. You're never too old to beat the crap out of a mountain lion.


Anonymous said...

3. Bachelor hikers die young.

SkyePuppy said...

3b. But not if they hike with a friend.