A 9-year-old girl camping in the northwestern US state of Washington has survived a mountain lion attack, police said.

Lily Kryzhanivskyy was “playing hide-and-seek in the woods near the camp” with two other children Saturday morning when the cougar suddenly attacked her, authorities said in a statement.

Lily was “transported by helicopter to the hospital with numerous injuries to her upper body and face”, underwent several operations and came out of a coma on Monday, “well aware of what happened to her”, said her uncle Alex Mantsevich .

Her uncle asks for funds mainly to pay for health expenses and has published photos of the girl in hospital, with injuries on her face that look like deep scratches.

Since 1924 only 20 people have been attacked by cougars in that mountainous region and two have died, says the Washington state nature conservation agency.

One of its spokespersons declared to a local television channel that they are investigating the circumstances of the attack and that the body of the animal, shot dead by a person present at the scene, will be analyzed in order to detect possible diseases.

Attacks by these cats are extremely rare. In the event that they occur, the authorities recommend “standing up and fighting back” and, above all, not trying to flee or play dead.

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