Adult Punches Mountain Lion to Save Girl in California Park

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (The Sacramento Bee/TNS) —
North American cougar. (National Park Service)

A mountain lion attacked a 6-year-old girl Sunday while she was walking in a California park, wildlife officials say.

The girl was walking on a trail at the Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve in Cupertino, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a news release.

She was about 2 miles from the main parking lot when a mountain lion attacked, Fish and Wildlife said. Rangers were treating the girl for minor injuries.

An adult punched the mountain lion, estimated to weigh 160 pounds, in the ribs, KGO reported.

“Right about when it grabbed ahold of the girl, there was an adult there that pushed the lion away into the bushes, and it ran off,” Brad Pennington, a ranger with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, told KGO. “She has minor injuries, a couple puncture wounds on her calf, and she was treated for minor first aid. Then, her parents took her to the hospital.”

The park is closed until officials can determine it is safe. Rangers are trying to find and identify the mountain lion, Fish and Wildlife said in the news release.

This is the second mountain lion attack that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has on record this year. It is the 17th attack since 1986, according to data the department keeps.

“Mountain lions live throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains region and generally are not a threat to people,” Fish and Wildlife said in the news release. “Most avoid areas of human activity and are easily scared off by loud noises. Seeing a mountain lion is rare and an encounter like this is very unusual.”

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