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Mountain lion attacks 7-year-old boy at Southern California park

Upon hearing his son’s cry, the father charged toward the big cat

September 28, 2022 9:05pm

Updated: September 29, 2022 1:39pm

A 7-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion at a Southern California park, prompting officials to track the animal and close the park, authorities said.

The boy was walking up some stairs with his father at Pico Canyon Park near Santa Clarita on Monday when the mountain lion emerged from the nearby brush and bit the boy on the buttocks, said Capt. Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Upon hearing his son’s cry, the father charged toward the big cat. “The lion let go and retreated back into the brush,” he said.

The boy was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“It was a pretty traumatic episode for him, but he's expected to be fine,” said Foy.

The father said the large cat did not appear to be wearing a collar from the National Park Service, which tracks the cats in Southern California. Additionally, the park said it doesn’t have a tagged mountain lion in the area.

Wildlife officials sampled the bite size and obtained a DNA profile of the animal to try to find the mountain lion that was responsible for the attack. So far the animal has not been found.

The park will remain closed until further notice while authorities carry out an investigation regarding the incident.

Mountain lion attacks are rare. According to Foy, in the past 110 years, there have been around 20 confirmed attacks.