Neighbor saves teen from cougar attack

November 17, 2008 5:33:06 AM PST
Authorities in Miami are crediting a neighbor with saving a teenager who was mauled by a 150-pound pet cougar.

Police say 21-year-old Anthony Zitnick brought the 16-year-old girl to the home of a wildlife collector who has permits to keep two cougars and several snakes, tortoises and alligators. The collector was out of town and police say Zitnick didn't have permission to be there.

Police say the cougar named Chaos pounced on the girl Saturday and clenched its jaws around her head. Neighbor Richard Miralles heard screams and wrestled the animal away.

A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman says the girl had some significant wounds and was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A spokesman says Chaos can remain in the house for now.