The minor was climbing some stairs when the cat approached from behind and attacked him with bites; the boy was reported with injuries that were not life-threatening
A 7-year-old boy was injured after being attacked by a mountain lion Monday in the area of Pico Canyon Park in the town of Stevenson Ranch, authorities said.
The minor sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed the park while the California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducts an investigation into this incident.
Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the boy was walking up some stairs when the mountain lion came up behind him and bit him.
The little boy’s father was able to scare the animal.
Due to the attack, Pico Canyon Park will remain closed until further notice due to the presence of an “aggressive” mountain lion in the area, the Parks and Recreation Department said in a news release.
DNA samples were taken from the boy’s bite wounds to try to match him to a known feline. Meanwhile, authorities are searching for the mountain lion.
If the cat is found and the DNA matches the child’s bite marks, the mountain lion will most likely have to be euthanized.
“Everything we do in every part of our mission is to better help wildlife and people coexist. Having a situation like this, where wild animals start attacking, especially young children, is a very difficult part of our job,” Foy acknowledged.
Residents in the Stevenson Ranch area reported seeing a mountain lion in recent weeks and were worried about their pets, but few thought it might attack a human.
“It still scares me because it could happen to me,” said Francisco Salas, a Santa Clarita resident who frequently visits the trails above the park. “It could happen to anyone here,” said Hispanic Francisco Salas, a Santa Clarita resident who frequently visits the trails at Pico Canyon Park.
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