May 16, 2012
Wildlife experts frequently remind campers, hunters and hikers what to do should they encounter a mountain lion. Hitting the big cat with a frying pan is probably at the bottom of the list.
Nevertheless, a Chino Valley, Ariz., man grabbed his cast-iron pan -- his closest weapon -- to fend off a cougar after it attacked his dog earlier this month.
According to The (Prescott, Ariz.) Daily Courier, Brandon Arnold, 24, was camping with his girlfriend, Tessa Gerdes, and seven other friends -- including three children -- early in the morning on May 4 in the Tonto National Forest when a mountain lion attacked Arnold's dog, Apollo, a 90-pound lab-pit bull mix.
Arnold's friend, Donald Jones, grabbed the cougar by the neck thinking it was another camper's dog, then (wisely) let go once he realized what he had grabbed. The puma high-tailed it into the woods, with Apollo giving chase, so Arnold and Jones gave chase with whatever weapons they could grab; Arnold grabbed a cast-iron frying pan, and Jones grabbed a table.
Arnold reached the animals first, and once he got a clear swing, he took it, smacking the cat in the head.
"The first time I had a clear shot I just swung the pan and hit him right on the head," Arnold told The Daily Courier. "It was like a cartoon -- he just kind of stopped and I hit him again. He got stiff and fell over."
Arnold walloped the stunned cougar again, knocking it to the ground, then popped it several more times for good measure before another friend shot it a couple times -- just to be sure.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department reported Monday that the cougar tested positive for rabies. Luckily, none of the campers were scratched or bitten. Apollo suffered a few wounds, but thankfully had his rabies shots and should be released after a 45-day quarantine.