In all likelihood, the mountain lion that attacked a 3-year-old boy in an Orange County, California, park wasn’t trying to eat him. The lion probably just wanted whatever was in his backpack. Luckily and amazingly, the kid’s dad figured this out and acted accordingly. He used his own backpack as a way to get the lion to let go of his son. This really happened. This week. In Orange County, California. And, the quick-thinking dad is an inspiration to us all.
On Monday afternoon, during a hike with his family at the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, a 3-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion. This is not common, as we do not live in Jumanji where this kind of stuff is run-of-the-mill. Also, most fathers are not the Rock, and as such they can’t just pry open the jaws a freaking mountain lion with their bare hands. Which is why the actions of this father are of particular note.
As far as we know, this guy did not panic. He did not try to tackle the mountain lion and pry his kids out of its lion jaws. No. He somehow figured out what the lion really wanted and decided to distract it. Using his own backpack as bait, this dad lured the lion away from his child.
According to reports, the 3-year-old boy is recovering and, in all likelihood be totally okay. But while most of us will thankfully never have to face what this dad faced—the idea that our child was going to get eaten by a fucking lion—we hope that when moments of danger do occur we can be as calm and rational as this guy. Just breathe. The lion does not want to eat your kid. It just wants something else. How can I distract it?
I’ll be thinking about this level-headed approach to parenting for a long, long time. And to the guy who had to save his kid from the lion, I say this: Nice work, sir. I want to be more like you.