Mountain Lion Attacks 6-Year-Old Girl in California Park

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Authorities with Wildlife Services are still trying to find and capture the animal

A 6-year-old girl is recovering from injuries suffered from a mountain lion attack that occurred at the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve on Sunday.

According to CBS SF, a park ranger administered first aid to the child at around 10 a.m. on a dirt trail about 2 miles from the park’s main parking area. The child was then taken to a hospital as a precaution, but later released. 

“The mountain lion came out of the bushes and reached for the girl, actually got her back leg with its claws and one of the friends of the family was able to push the lion away into the bushes and it took off running,” said Brad Pennington, superintendent with Midpen.

The park, managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen), was closed all day Sunday as California Fish and Wildlife specialists investigated the attack. There is no estimated time for the park to reopen.

“Midpen works closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to minimize conflicts between wildlife and people. When an encounter happens and the animal can be located and positively identified, CDFW determines what action to take,” the park district said in a statement.

Wildlife Services from the Department of Agriculture is tracking the lion, believed to be an adult male, with dogs.

“Hopefully we get a lion up a tree, which is what normally happens when you have trained dogs on a lion. If the lion goes up a tree, we have a couple of my officers that are mobilization specialists, they’ll load a dart with some drug to knock the lion out,” said Todd Tognazzini, patrol captain with California Fish & Wildlife.

Rancho San Antonio County Park will reopen once the park authority determines it's safe to do so.

Midpen officials are asking people to avoid the area to allow investigators to work safely.

For more crazy outdoor stories, visit The Realblog and check out Realtree's Facebook page.