Front page of the Neighbors section of the Columbian today:
"Local Man Attacked by Lion - Barely Escapes with Life"
Local authorities are investigating a Lion attack in the Dole Valley area of the Yacolt Burn in SW Washington. A local man, Bill Hutchens, was attacked by a small lion while working with a 4x4 volunteer group that was restoring a wetlands area that was previously damaged by vandals in the Yacolt Burn.
Witnesses from the volunteer group, Pistons Wild Motorsports, say that it was very strange to see a lion in this area, as they are not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Hutchens is grateful to be alive and gives thanks to the bystanders who distracted the Lion with a stick while he escaped to safety.
Volunteer group leader, Darel Crowder of Pistons Wild Motorsports, uses local tree phone to alert animal control that there is a Lion loose in the area and to notify local residents.
Dan Friesz, a biologist for the Department of Natural Resources, displays the Willow switch that he used to distract the Lion from terrorizing Mr. Hutchens.
See the full story tonight on KATU Channel 2 News at 11:00pm.
Photos courtesy of photographer Richard Dominiak.
What's more believable to the public - a lion in the Yacolt Burn or a 4x4 Group restoring a wetland area ? ? ?