The attack occurred on Monday afternoon at a nature preserve in San Diego

By Helen Murphy
May 29, 2019 10:23 AM
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A 4-year-old boy is recovering after being attacked by a mountain lion at a nature preserve in San Diego.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement on Tuesday that the attack occurred on Monday afternoon at the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego County. The boy, who has not yet been identified, was part of a group of 11 people exploring in the park.

According to CNN, the child was subsequently taken to the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. A spokesperson for the hospital told the outlet that he is in good condition and is expected to be released soon. His injuries were not life-threatening, CNN reported.

The hospital did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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During the attack, CNN reported, the boy’s father threw rocks at the mountain lion to scare it away. While searching for the animal later, wildlife officers came across a mountain lion who approached them.

“The lion appeared to have little fear of humans, which is abnormal behavior for a mountain lion,” the CDFW statement explained.

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The officers euthanized the big cat, the statement said, to “ensure public safety.”

In order to confirm the details of the attack, officers collected clothing and other samples from the child and sent them along with the mountain lion’s carcass to a laboratory for DNA analysis and a necropsy.

“The details of how the suspected attack occurred are not yet available,” the statement read.

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CNN reported that the nature preserve will remain closed until officers can confirm that the euthanized mountain lion is the same one that attacked the boy.

Just weeks earlier, a 4-year-old girl was left fighting for her life after a lion attacked her at a wildlife farm in South Africa. She is now in an induced coma after the lioness stuck its claws through the barrier, clawing through her skull and scalping her.

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