Hiker beats off mountain lion that had husband's head in its mouth
James Bone in New York
A hiker saved her husband’s life with a branch and a ball-point pen after a mountain lion clamped his head in its jaws.
Jim Hamm, 70, was trailing behind his wife, Nell, 65, near the end of a ten-mile trail through the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, when the puma pounced and pinned him face-down to the ground. “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,” Mrs Hamm said.
The Hamms, both avid hikers, had never seen a mountain lion before. But they had talked about what to do if they were ever attacked: scream, look big and fight back. While her husband’s head was clamped between the puma’s jaws, Mrs Hamm picked up a hefty log and began beating the animal. But it would not relinquish its grip.
“Jim was talking to me all through this, and he said, ‘I’ve got a pen in my pocket — 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.”
The pen bent and became useless as a weapon, so Mrs Hamm went back to wielding her log. She slammed the end of the fallen timber into the animal’s snout. The blood-soaked puma let go of her husband and began staring at her, its ears pinned back. For a moment, she thought that it was going to attack her. She screamed and waved her weapon and the animal stalked slowly back into the forest.
“I feel that Jim and I fought for his life. We fo