California wildlife officials have called off the search for a mountain lion that attacked a 5-year-old kid on a hiking route in rural Northern California, saying there was little prospect of capturing the animal.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that DNA testing revealed that a mountain lion was responsible for the attack last Tuesday in San Mateo County, south of San Francisco.
However, efforts to hunt down and capture the lion have been impeded since investigators have been denied access to private property near the attack location.
“This lack of access, along with increasing weather and the nomadic nature of mountain lions, has lowered the odds of a successful capture,” said Capt. Patrick Foy, a department spokesperson.
The kid was on the route near Tunitas Creek Road shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday and had run ahead of his mother and grandparents when the huge cat pounced on him and pinned him to the ground, according to authorities and family members.
Suzie Trexler, his mother, charged the cougar, who let grip of the boy and ran away.
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Foy stated that the boy had not been bitten. However, his face was scratched and he suffered a cracked bone near his eye, according to his aunt, Amie Wagner.
He was treated at a nearby hospital.
Mountain lion assaults against humans are uncommon. According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, just three fatal attacks have happened in California in more than a century of record-keeping.
Last September, a 7-year-old boy was bitten by a mountain lion while walking with his father around nightfall in a park near Santa Clarita, California. The father scared the animal away, and the child was treated for minor injuries.
The most recent instance occurred in September when a cougar attacked a 7-year-old youngster at Pico Canyon Park in Los Angeles County. That child also survived.