A dog living in Northern California was gravely injured on Tuesday after she found herself in the middle of a fight with a mountain lion in an attempt to save her owner from grievous bodily harm when the lion reportedly attacked. 

Eva, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, jumped to the defense of her 24-year-old owner Erin Wilson after she found herself getting lunged at by a mountain lion, scratching her left shoulder in the process, according to the New York Post

The dog reportedly jumped headfirst towards the mountain lion and started fighting. After a few moments, the mountain lion firmly had their grips on Eva’s head, refusing to let go of it even after Wilson threw rocks, sticks, and her own fists at the mountain cat, KRCR reported. 

Wilson flagged down a passing car, which then helped her by beating the lion with a PVC pipe. Eventually, the woman sprayed the lion with pepper spray, which caused the lion to let go of Eva and flee from the scene. 

“I don’t think I will ever be able to live up to how amazing and loyal she is to me,” Erin Wilson said. 

Wilson was brought to a hospital where she was treated for non-life-threatening wounds on her body. Eva was brought to a veterinary hospital, where it was assessed that she had suffered from two skull fractures, a punctured sinus cavity, and severe damage to her left eye. She was released from the facility on Thursday. 

“Her punctures are all healing well; all of them missed the brain,” Wilson said. “We are so fortunate. I can't believe she's still alive and doing so well.”

Authorities have collected DNA samples of the mountain lion from Eva, which they will then use in their attempt to track and trap the lion. Many have expressed shock at the incident occurring in an area that is highly frequented by people. 

“I was shocked! I go out there all the time with my dogs,” pedestrian Karen Sundt said. “I have gone out there often, over the years, to pick up trash and clean up the area. I guess I'm going to have to invest in some strong bear mace now.”

jamie-street-mPo96HVZVB8-unsplash A dog named Eva in California was badly wounded after an encounter with a mountain lion which she attacked after the lion attempted to attack Eva's owner. This is a representational image. Jamie Street/Unsplash.