Hero dog who fought off mountain lion to save owner dies from horror injuries

A hero dog that protected her owner from an attack by a wild mountain lion has died of the injuries she sustained in the fight.

Eva's owner, Erin Wilson, had been walking near Northern California's Trinity River when the beast attacked them.

Eva, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois, sprang to her owner’s defence. She suffered horrific head injuries when the lion clamped its jaws around her skull.

She survived for 24 days but eventually slipped away early on Wednesday.

"We said goodbye at 9:20 this morning," Erin wrote on Instagram.

"There were no changes to her condition overnight. Goodbye, my beautiful sweet girl. You are my world, my light, my best friend. The world is a much darker place."

The lion attack took place on May 16. The animal attacked Erin out of the blue, ranking its claws across her shoulder. Eva, who had been walking off her lead a few yards ahead, instantly responded,

"I yelled 'Eva!' and she came running," Erin told People Magazine. "And she hit that cat really hard."

"They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying," Wilson told the outlet.

"That's when the cat latched on to her skull."

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Another hiker, Sharon Houston, was nearby at the time of the attack. She helped Erin separate the fighting dog and lion. After the lion ran off, Erin put Eva in the back of the pickup truck.

"At first, I was like, 'Wow, she's OK," Erin told The Sacramento Bee.

"But when I looked at her closer, I realised she had a couple of puncture wounds on her face. And she just had a lot of blood coming out of her mouth.”

Eva drove her stricken dog straight to an emergency vet. During the 90-minute drive Eva started fitting and her condition deteriorated.

The vet told her that Eva had two fractures to her skull, a puncture in the sinus cavity, and severe swelling around her left eye. But they said that there were grounds for optimism because she was young and reasonably healthy.

Sadly, despite the vets’ best efforts, Eva started to go downhill and she died on Wednesday morning.

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