A Southern California mother, hearing a disturbance outside Thursday morning, found a 65-pound mountain lion dragging her 5-year-old son across the front yard, wildlife officials said.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and hitting the mountain lion with her bare hands and took it off her son,” Captain Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife says.
“The real hero of this story is her mother, because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” said Foy. The boy is hospitalized in stable condition with injuries to his head and torso.
A wildlife officer later shot and killed the mountain lion after finding it hiding in a corner of the Calabasas property, the department said in a press release.
DNA tests confirmed it was the same mountain lion that attacked the boy, the statement said.
Two more mountain lions arrived a few minutes later. One, identified as P-54, had a collar, while the other was not. The officer soothed the collarless mountain lion.
GPS tracking shows the P-54 has left the neighborhood, wildlife officials said. The dead mountain lion was one of his cubs. The surviving chick was relocated near P-54
“There is a lot of angst with people who are furious that we killed the mountain lion responsible for attacking that boy,” Foy told the Los Angeles Times.
“Unfortunately, he was trying to kill and eat that child,” Foy said. “Many members of the public never want to think of a human being as prey. Sometimes it happens. ”
It was the first mountain lion attack on a human in Los Angeles in 25 years, the agency said.
Calabasas is a city in the northwest Santa Monica Mountains region of Los Angeles County, California. The Leonis Adobe, an adobe structure in Old Town Calabasas, dates from 1844 and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in greater Los Angeles.
The Mountain Lion (Puma concolor) is a large cat in the Felinae subfamily. It is native to the Americas. Its range extends from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes in South America, and is the widest of any large wild land mammal in the western hemisphere. It is an adaptable and generalist species, occurring in most types of American habitats. Due to its vast extension, it has many names, including mountain lion, puma, panther, jaguar, puma.