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US News Mountain lion attacks, injures 3-year-old boy in California wilderness park

15:50  21 january  2020
15:50  21 january  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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A mountain lion lunged for a three - year - old boy and grabbed him by the neck on Monday afternoon in a wilderness park 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles Whiting Ranch, a popular county wilderness recreation area that sprawls between housing tracts, has been the scene of other cougar attacks .

PHOTO: A mountain lion attacked a 3 - year - old boy and then grabbed his father's backpack and climbed into a tree in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Mountain lion attacks are rare in California . The latest verified attack came in May 2019 at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego, according

a giraffe standing next to a tree: A mountain lion attacked a three year old on Monday, then grabbed his father's backpack and raced up a tree in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, southeast of Los Angeles. © OC Fire Authority A mountain lion attacked a three year old on Monday, then grabbed his father's backpack and raced up a tree in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, southeast of Los Angeles. A mountain lion lunged for a 3-year-old boy and grabbed him by the neck on Monday in a California wilderness park, authorities said.

The incident happened at the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in the rugged foothills of the Cleveland National Forest, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles

A family of six was walking on a popular trail in Foothill Ranch when the animal attacked, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito.

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A three - year - old boy was attacked and injured by a mountain lion while walking in a California park with his family. Three - year - old boy is attacked by mountain lion before his dad threw a backpack at the animal in a bid The three - year - old is being treated at an area hospital; he's in stable condition.

During a family walk at the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Orange County, California , on Monday, a mountain lion surprised a father and his three - year - old , attacking the toddler. The father reportedly threw a backpack at the mountain lion to distract it, and the animal dropped the toddler to pick up the

"The mountain lion came out of somewhere and grabbed the 3-year-old by the neck and dragged him a short distance," said Bommarito. The boy's father threw his backpack at the cougar, which let go of the child, grabbed the pack and sprinted up a nearby tree.

The family ran out of the park and were met by paramedics who quickly treated the child and transported him to a nearby hospital.  

"There was an attack on a child, but the child is OK," said Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Fred Thompson. "The mountain lion is no longer an issue."

The boy was in stable condition Monday night, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, citing a public safety threat, gave local law enforcement the approval to euthanize the mountain lion, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

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Emergency crews responded to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Lake Forest, California , Monday afternoon for a reported mountain lion attack on a 3 - year - old child. The child suffered injuries to the neck as a result of the attack , according to the Orange County Fire Authority who said the family of

A mountain lion has been euthanized after attacking a 3 - year - old boy in a Southern California wilderness park on Monday, authorities say.

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"I saw the family about 30 seconds after it happened," said Landon Wright, who was riding his mountain bike in the park. "They were obviously shaken up. The mom was holding the boy and they were all scurrying by as fast as they could. She stopped and said, 'Hey, there's a mountain lion in a tree just past here.'"

Moments later, Wright rounded a corner. "There it was, in a tree 15 to 20 feet up in the air, on a limb, just staring at me, with the pack in its mouth," he said.

Whiting Ranch, a popular county wilderness recreation area that sprawls between housing tracts, has been the scene of other cougar attacks. Mark Reynolds, 35, was attacked and killed in 2004 when he stopped to fix a broken chain on his bike.

The next afternoon, another mountain biker, Anne Hjelle, 30, was attacked and seriously injured, likely by the same cougar. She was rescued by a riding companion and other bicyclists as the animal was dragging her by her head into the brush. 

On Sunday, Wright said he biked past a bench in the park memorializing Reynolds. He said the possibility of being attacked "is always on your mind."

"But it's infrequent and you can't just say, 'I'm going to stay indoors,' " Wright said. "It's just really unfortunate this cat decided to do this."

Janet Wilson covers the environment for The Desert Sun. Email her at janet.wilson@desertsun.com. 

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Mountain lion attacks, injures 3-year-old boy in California wilderness park

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