A YOUNG boy in the US is being hailed as a hero after bravely stepping in to prevent a vicious dog from attacking his infant sister.
Six-year-old Bridger Walker from Wyoming risked his own life to stop the ferocious canine from attacking his younger sibling on July 9.
In doing so, however, he ended up being mauled by the dog himself, who bit the boy several times on the head and face during the ensuing struggle.
Incredibly, he still managed to lead his sister to safety, taking her by the hand and guiding her away from the immediate danger.
The attack left him with several painful wounds around his face and eye, which required a total of 90 stitches in hospital.
News of Bridger’s incredible selfless act of bravery was first shared by his auntie, Nicole Walker, who revealed on Instagram that her nephew had been willing to give up his life to save his sister.
"If someone had to die, I thought it should be me," Bridger is reported to have said.
Thankfully, the young boy is now on the mend and recovering at home.
His incredible exploits have not gone unnoticed though.
Nicole’s Instagram post chronicling Bridger’s heroic efforts has since gone viral, racking up nesrly 100,000 likes in just a few short hours.
Reacting to the outpouring of support on social media, Nicole took to Instagram to reveal she has been sharing some of the messages with her six-year-old nephew.
"I just finished visiting with Bridger at his home," she said.
"His wounds are looking so much better! He’s in great spirits, and his awesome personality is intact.
"He can’t smile too widely yet, but he was grinning as I read some of your comments to him."
She has also been quick to thank everyone for their kind words.
"Once again, everyone’s kindness has meant so much to us," the post added.
"I’m trying to get to all of the messages that I can, but it may take some time."
While some people have been eager to donate to a GoFundMe page, Bridger’s family has asked that well-wishers instead donate to military veteran groups Wounded Warrior Project and Mission 22.
Although they did have one, slightly unusual, request: pictures of rocks.
"Bridger is also a huge fan of science, especially geology," his auntie said.
"So, I’m going to start a post where people can share with him pictures of cool rocks that they see."
Bridger and his family have also been keen to stress they felt no anger or animosity to the dog involves or its owners, despite the severity of his injuries.
"I’d also like to mention here that the dog’s owners are really great people who have been nothing but kind to Bridger and his family,” Nicole wrote.
"We feel no resentment toward them at all, and if anything there’s only been an increase of love between our families as a result of this incident."