A Calabasas, California woman has saved the life of her 5-year-old son after fighting off a mountain lion with her bare hands.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the boy was playing by a tree near his home in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles, on Thursday morning when a 65-pound mountain lion attacked him.
Department spokesman Patrick Foy said the mountain lion “dragged him about 45 yards” before his mother, came to the rescue. “She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy said.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” Foy said the boy’s mother noticed the attack when she heard her son screaming. The boy suffered traumatic injuries to his head and torso and was taken to a children’s hospital in Los Angeles.
Wildlife officials arrived at the woman’s home after law enforcement was informed about the incident and an officer noticed an “aggressive” mountain lion in the corner of the property.
The mountain lion’s behavior and location, made them believe that “it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety, shot and killed it” on the property, which evidence proved to be true.
“Wildlife Forensics Scientists analyzed samples from underneath the claws of the suspect lion carcass and isolated traces of human tissue and blood with a DNA profile that matched the young victim,” the department said in the statement. “Results were conclusive that it was the attacking lion that was shot by the wildlife officer on scene.”
After the mountain lion was killed, two more mountain lions, including an adult with a radio collar and one similar to the deceased lion, appeared. Officials used a nonlethal tranquilizer on the uncollared, similar mountain lion and were later released into the wild after confirming that it was not involved in the attack.
The size of the deceased mountain lion showed that it was a kitten born less than one year ago, according to officials. Experts say it may have attacked the boy as he was small and the mountain lion was learning how to hunt for prey.