Condition Worsens For Mountain Lion Victim - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/29/07 - San Francisco, California

Condition Worsens For Mountain Lion Victim

An elderly hiker who was attacked by a mountain lion last week was rushed into surgery when his condition worsened over the weekend.

Jim Hamm, 70, was back in the intensive care unit Sunday at Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata, California awaiting an airlift to a larger hospital in San Francisco, a hospital spokesman said.

Hamm's condition worsened from fair to serious on Saturday and doctors performed emergency surgery to clean a wound in his scalp.

Hamm first underwent surgery Wednesday after a female mountain lion ambushed him at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. He and his wife, Nell, were hiking when the lion scalped him, mauled his face, ripped off part of his lips and inflicted other puncture wounds and scratches.

Hospital spokesman Tom Ayotte said moving Hamm to a research hospital with more doctors and sophisticated equipment was a precautionary measure.

Hamm's wife, Nell, 65, smashed the cat in the snout with a large branch and stabbed it with a pen to fend off the attack. After the attack, game wardens closed the park and shot and killed a pair of lions. Researches identified the female as the attacker.

Story courtesy of CNN Newsource.

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