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US woman accidentally picks up mountain lion thinking it’s a dog

The woman was lucky to escape with just scratches. Credit: PA

A US woman who thought she was breaking up a fight between two dogs has had a shock when she managed to pick up a mountain lion instead of her pet.

The woman, who has't been named, was intervening in the fight outside her home in the small town of Mackay, Idaho.

The woman was lucky enough to only escape with a couple of scratches.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) said the woman only clocked that her pet was fighting a mountain lion after she had picked the animal up.

The incident occured in Mackay, a small town in Idaho. Credit: Google Street View

A statement from the authority read: "As she pulled the two animals apart, she realised that in one hand she held a juvenile male mountain lion about 35 pounds, and not another dog as she expected."

Sadly, the incident did not end well for the lion.

She called for her husband, who emerged from their home with a gun and, according to the IDFG, "quickly dispatched the mountain lion as she held on to it."

It was, according to Iowa authorities, the third incident of a mountain lion – which are also known as a cougar or a puma – attacking a dog in January.

Earlier this week, officials in Colorado revealed a man was attacked by a mountain lion while out running.

Remarkably, the man fought back and managed to choke the animal with his bare hands.