A Mexican woman says she fought a 500-pound lion with a machete near the resort city of Acapulco and scared him away.

Celsa Aleman said she and her 7-year-old niece were riding a donkey Monday along a road when the lion went after the animal's legs.

The 35-year-old woman said she found the courage to fight the lion because she thought it would attack her niece.

She said she hit the animal with a machete until the beast ran away and Aleman and her niece were unharmed.

The state government said in a statement that the lion had escaped from a private zoo owned by a former local congressman. It said the animal killed two dogs and ate a pig before it was sedated and taken back to the zoo.