Authorities: Mountain lion that mauled boy likely to attack again

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Officials are searching for a mountain lion in Cupertino that sent a 6-year-old boy to the hospital Sunday afternoon.

Authorities are searching for a mountain lion in Cupertino that sent a 6-year-old boy to the hospital Sunday afternoon. Two game wardens and one USDA wildlife official spent the night in the park. An officer said the animal is likely to attack again. It will be tracked with blood hounds today and will euthanized if found.

The attack happened on a hiking trail in the Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve near the historic Picchetti Winery around 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The boy was hiking with his parents on a trail about a mile from the winery. He was about 15 feet ahead when the mountain lion grabbed him. The boy's father and another man ran at the mountain lion, shouting and chased it away. The boy's family was with another family so, the mountain lion attacked with 10 people around.

The boy suffered bite marks to his head, neck and shoulders. He is being treated at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose where he was in serious condition and later upgraded to fair condition.

Rangers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife say his mom and dad fought off the cougar.

"The cat did make contact with the boy, did end up taking him into a brushy area and his parents did fight the animal off and the boy's in the hospital right now," Warden Travis Jarrett said.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials are working with park rangers to find the animal. Officials are searching the Picchetti Open Space Preserve and part of Stevens Creek County Park. Hiking trails in those areas are closed to the public.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials will test the boy's clothes for DNA to make sure they find the right mountain lion.

There are signs in front of the trail that do caution hikers that the area is mountain lion habitat.

The winery is still opened, but people in the area are being asked to be on alert.

Anyone who encounters a mountain lion is advised to not run away but confront the cat by making noises, throwing objects and trying to appear larger.

More information on mountain lions is available online by visiting www.keepmewild.org.

Related Topics:
animalmountain lion sightingchildren injuriesCupertino
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