A 3-year-old boy was attacked and grabbed around the neck by a mountain lion on Monday in a California wilderness park, authorities said. The frightening incident happened at the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
The boy and his family were walking a popular trail when the animal attacked, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito.
“The mountain lion came out of somewhere and grabbed the 3-year-old by the neck and dragged him a short distance,” Bommarito told USA Today.
The boy’s father threw his backpack at the beast, which released the boy, grabbed the bag, and bolted up a tree. The family quickly left the park where they were met by paramedics, who treated the boy and took him to a nearby hospital.
“There was an attack on a child, but the child is OK,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Fred Thompson. “The mountain lion is no longer an issue.”
The boy was in stable condition Monday night. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife have given local law enforcement the approval to euthanize the mountain lion in the interests of public safety, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.