On January 19th, 2022, Steve and Tammy Miller took their dog Karley hiking at Oak Creek Canyon near Flagstaff, Arizona. They had no way of knowing this would be far from an ordinary day enjoying the outdoors with their pup.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a mountain lion grabbed Karley, a 65-pound Shepherd mix, in its mouth and ran off. Though Karley is big for a dog, she was no match for a nearly 200-pound big cat.
The Attack Leaves Karley’s Baffled Parents Horrified
Witnessing a wild animal attack your pet is a terrifying experience. The dog’s stunned parents saw their beloved pup turn into prey.
“I seen my dog in this thing’s mouth. Tongue out, it was limp. Most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen,” Steve said.
The horrified couple didn’t even know how to react to what they saw. How does one safely get their dog back from the jaws of a wild animal?
“We screamed at the cat. We screamed for our dog to fight. Seeing as we did, what chance did she have?” Tammy added.
The Millers reported the attack and searched for Karley for hours. They ultimately went home shocked and heartbroken, thinking the worst.
Then, remarkably, a park ranger called the couple later that same night. Someone had found Karley along Oak Creek, frightened but alive. Karley had survived a mountain lion attack.
How Did Karley Survive The Attack?
Obviously, this dog is lucky to be alive. Amy Burnett with the Arizona Game and Fish Department had some guesses as to how Karley lived through this terrifying incident. Burnett told Fox 10:
“There’s a big possibility that this particular mountain lion was young and inexperienced, or old, weak and desperate. Mountain lion attacks on dogs are really fairly rare and attacks on people are even more rare.”
It’s also possible that the mountain lion found an easier prey opportunity and let Karley go. A mountain lion’s typical prey is deer and small mammals like rabbits or raccoons. If they’re really hungry, though, big cats will go for different accessible prey.
Whatever it was that helped Karley escape the cat’s clutches, it’s not lost on the Millers or anyone else what a miracle her survival is.
“We love our dog. Nothing but a blessing,” Steve said.
Learn more about mountain lions, their habitats, and how to tell when one is around here.