5-Year-Old's Mom Fights Off Mountain Lion Attacking Him

Boy is hospitalized with injuries after being dragged across lawn
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2021 12:00 PM CDT
5-Year-Old's Mom Fights Off Mountain Lion Attacking Him in Yard
A 2016 photo shows an uncollared adult female mountain lion photographed with a motion sensor camera in the Verdugos Mountains in Los Angeles County.   (U.S. National Park Service via AP)

A mountain lion that attacked a 5-year-old boy and dragged the child across his front lawn in Southern California was shot and killed by a wildlife officer, authorities said Saturday. The 65-pound mountain lion attacked the boy while he was playing near his house Thursday in Calabasas, the AP reports, and "dragged him about 45 yards" across the front lawn, said Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The boy suffered significant traumatic injuries to his head and upper torso and was being treated at a Los Angeles hospital, Foy said.

"The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son's life," Foy said. The boy's mother was inside the house when she heard commotion outside. "She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son," he said. The parents immediately drove the boy to the hospital, where law enforcement were notified of the attack and sent a wildlife officer to the house. Once there, the officer discovered a mountain lion crouching in the bushes with its "ears back and hissing" at him, Foy said.

"Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on site," the wildlife department said in a statement Saturday. Subsequent DNA tests confirmed that the lion was the one responsible for attacking the child, the statement said. Another mountain lion spotted in the area was tranquilized and then released into the wild unharmed after it was tested to be sure it was not involved in the attack.

(More mountain lion stories.)

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