Rangers shut down trails last week after a mountain lion attacked a 6-year-old boy and tried to drag him off at Big Bend National Park in Texas.

Below (way down there somewhere) is a press release issued by the National Park Service the day after the Feb. 5 assault.

The incident is the first attack in the United States for 2012, according to CougarInfo.org, which stitched together a detailed, blow-by-blow account on its site. According to news articles, the father jumped on the cat and stabbed it with a pocketknife.

It’s interesting to note last week’s attack didn’t happen out on the trails but on a sidewalk between a restaurant and a lodge. The family actually chose not to camp that night after hearing of an earlier mountain lion encounter.

Remember, mountain lions can be found all over the place, even in the land of no mountains. So, just to be cautious, here’s a refresher course on mountain lion safety, courtesy of The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook:

— Don’t run when faced by a mountain lion.
— Make yourself look bigger, stand tall. The handbook has an illustration of a guy opening his coat to appear large. It looks like he’s flashing the cat.
— Back away slowly.
— If it attacks or becomes aggressive, throw rocks and fight back, punching it in the eyes and head.

Mountain Lion Attack

Date: February 6, 2012

 A mountain lion attack occurred on February 5th in the Chisos Basin area of Big Bend National Park. A six-year-old boy received non-life-threatening injuries during the attack.
Once the report was received, park rangers closed the high Chisos Mountain trails into the area at approximately 8:00 a.m., February 6th, and began patrols for the animal. Additional park personnel began patrols to notify trail users of the closure and to evacuate the area. A trained, professional dog team has been summoned to the park to help track the lion; however, at this time the lion has not been located.
Trail and campsite closures include the Window Trail, which is closed until further notice; the Pinnacles, Boulder Meadow, and Juniper Flat campsites of the Chisos Mountains are closed until further notice. Children are not advised to hike in the Chisos Mountains at this time and visitors should check on trail closures, which may change.
The trails and campsites listed will remain closed until further notice….