On Monday, a 7-year-old boy was bitten by a mountain lion on the buttocks, before his father arrived to scare it away.
The attack occurred just after sundown at Pico Canyon Park near Santa Clarita, California. The child was walking in front of the father when the mountain lion suddenly appeared and bit the boy in his buttocks.
When he heard the boy scream, the father quickly approached the scene and the mountain lion retreated into the woods.
Wildlife officers were tracking a mountain lion that attacked a 7-year-old boy and prompted the closure of a sprawling Southern California park, authorities said. https://t.co/g3VQtt65MH
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 28, 2022
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy described the scene to reporters.
“The lion let go and retreated back into the brush,” he said. “It was a pretty traumatic episode for him, but he’s expected to be fine.”
Foy told reporters that the boy’s injuries were not life-threatening, but he was taken to the hospital for treatment.
According to the father, he did not see a GPS tracking collar on the mountain lion, meaning the cat was not one of the big cats monitored by Southern California park services.
Fish and Wildlife officers closed the park following the incident, in order to rig boxes with bait to trap the mountain lion.
Officials explained that they swabbed the boy’s wound to get a DNA sample of the mountain lion, which they will use to test any mountain lions they capture. If the DNA test is a match, then they will put down the animal.
“Everything we do, and every part of our mission, is to better help wildlife and people coexist,” Foy said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation issued a statement cautioning citizens to watch out for the mountain lion.
“An aggressive Mountain Lion has been sighted in the area,” they wrote. “An investigation led by Fish and Wildlife is ongoing.”
“If you see a Mountain Lion in the area, call 9-1-1,” the department added.
Since California started keeping track in 1912, there have only been 20 confirmed mountain lion attacks on humans.