Mountain Lion Killed After Attacking 5-Year-Old Boy in the Front Yard of His Calif. Home

Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife called the child's mother a "true hero" for saving her son's life "with her bare hands"

Mountain Lion
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A mountain lion has been killed after brutally attacking a 5-year-old boy in his own yard, according to authorities.

The child was ambushed by the 65-lb. wild cat around 10:45 a.m. on Thursday while in the front yard of his home near Calabasas, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement on Saturday.

Capt. Patrick Foy, a spokesperson with the CDFW, told the Associated Press the mountain lion "dragged him about 45 yards" before the boy's mother came to the rescue.

"She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son," Foy said, calling her a "true hero" for saving her son's life.

The boy suffered what Foy described as significant injuries to his head and upper torso, but he was in stable condition at a Los Angeles hospital.

While clearing the scene under department protocol, CDFW investigators discovered an "aggressive" mountain lion crouching in the corner of the property, according to the statement from the wildlife department.

Foy said the animal had its "ears back and hissing" when it was found hiding in the bushes.

"Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on site," the statement added.

DNA testing at the CDFW's Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento later confirmed the lion was the one responsible for attacking the young boy.

About 20 minutes after the first mountain lion was shot, the CDFW said two more appeared near the scene of the attack. One was an adult lion wearing a radio tracking collar, while the other appeared similar in size to the animal that snatched the child.

The non-collared lion was tranquilized by a wildlife officer and released a short time later after tests determined it was not involved in the attack, per the department statement.

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