Pico Canyon park closed after mountain lion attack

Pico Canyon Park at Stevenson Ranch has been closed indefinitely as wildlife officials track a mountain lion that allegedly bit a 7-year-old boy, state wildlife officials said Tuesday.

The boy and his father were climbing stairs in the 21-acre park around 7 p.m. Monday when a mountain lion came out of the brush and bit the boy in the buttock, according to Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The father, who was walking behind, heard his son cry out in pain and charged at the fleeing mountain lion.

“The father moved closer to the lion and the lion retreated into the brush,” Foy said.

The boy was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Wildlife officials took a sample of the bite to confirm a mountain lion was responsible and to obtain a DNA profile of the animal.

The father said the puma did not appear to be wearing a GPS collar from the National Park Service, which tracks the species in southern California.

Cougar attacks on humans are rare. About 20 confirmed attacks have taken place in California in more than a century of record, Foy said.

On Tuesday evening, the park remained closed while the California Department of Fish and Wildlife inspected the area. The United States Department of Agriculture assisted in the search for the mountain lion by setting up a bait trap.

Anyone who observes a mountain lion in the vicinity of the park is asked to call 911.

Los Angeles Times

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