Mountain lion hunt ends after attacking California boy

HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA (AP) — California wildlife officials called off a hunt for a mountain lion that attacked a 5-year-old boy on a hiking trail in rural Northern California, saying capture is unlikely. rice field. animal.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday that DNA testing confirmed that the puma was involved in last Tuesday’s attack in San Mateo County, south of San Francisco.

However, efforts to track down and capture the lion were hampered when investigators were denied access to private property near the site of the attack.

“This lack of access, combined with adverse weather conditions and the nomadic nature of the mountain lions, reduces the chances of a successful capture,” said Capt. Patrick Foy, department spokesman.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday, the boy was running on a trail along Tunitas Creek Road and was running in front of his mother and grandparents when a large cat jumped on him and pushed him to the ground, officials and family said. said.

His mother, Susie Trexler, charged the cougar, who let the boy go and ran away.

Foy said the boy wasn’t bitten. But he had scratches on his face and a broken bone near his eye, his aunt Amy Wagner told The Chronicle.

He was treated at a local hospital.

Puma attacks on humans are rare. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, in more than a century of records, there are about 20 confirmed attacks, and he’s only three fatalities.

Last September, a 7-year-old boy was bitten by a mountain lion while walking with his father at dusk in a park near Santa Clarita, Southern California. His father frightened the animals away and the child was treated for relatively minor wounds.

The last incident before Tuesday occurred in September when a cougar attacked a 7-year-old boy at Pico Canyon Park in Los Angeles County. The child survived.