Wildlife officials report that a woman has saved her husband's life by clubbing a lion that attacked him while the couple were strolling in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Jim and Nell Hamm, who are soon to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, are seasoned hikers and did not hear the sneaky lion's approach as they walked along a trail. The savage cat managed to stalk the couple and when the moment was right, quickly pounced upon Jim.
This is when things to a turn for the worse, mainly for the cat.
Nell recalls, "'He didn't scream. It was a different, horrible plea for help, and I turned around, and by then the cat had wrestled Jim to the ground."
Likely fueled by a mighty rush of adrenaline, the brave wife wielded a four-inch-long log and proceeded to beat the lion with it.
Undeterred and longing for a meal, the lion refused to let go of Jim's head. This turned out to be the cat's second mistake.
Knowing that her husband had a pen in his pocket, Nell grabbed it and began stabbing the lion in the eye.
"...I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn't go in as easy as I thought it would."
In a battle of will, woman versus nature, the wife didn't want to lose her husband's life. The lion wanted a meal.
With a bent pen in hand, and husband in the mouth of a lion, Nell went back to using the log. Eventually, the steel will of Nell was too much for the lion to handle.
In a defiant last stand, and with blood on its snout, the lion sulked and stared at Nell. It is at this point reports indicate she let out some type of primal scream and waved the log about until the lion was forced to walk away, defeated.
Still focused and composed, Nell (who is 65) went to her bleeding and badly mauled husband and walked a fourth of a mile to a nature trail head. Along the path she actually collected branches to use for weapons in case the lion came back.
Nell, and her 70-year-old husband Jim, waited at the trail head until a ranger came by to pick them up.
With a mauled scalp and lacerations on his head and body, Jim is amazingly in fair condition.
A spokesperson for the Department of Fish and Game put it best, "'She saved his life, there is no doubt about it.'"