Mountain lion attacks 6-year-old girl on Cupertino trail

Bay Area

CUPERTINO, Calif. (KRON) — A Bay Area park is on high alert after a mountain lion attacked a 6-year-old girl Sunday morning. 

Wildlife officials said around 9:45 a.m., the little girl was walking with her friends and family when the big cat came out of nowhere and grabbed her leg.

“Fortunately one of the adults reacted quickly and punched the lion in the side and it immediately let go and so the injuries were very very minor,” Todd Tognazzini said.

Tognazzini is the captain of California Fish and Wildlife. He said the adult reacted exactly as you should when facing off with a mountain lion. 

Because he fought back, the child only suffered some small cuts and was released to her parents.

The plan now is to capture the mountain lion using highly trained dogs as well as other methods.

“They have lots of trail cameras here and they have seen a number of different lions so we have collected dna evidence from the victim,” Tognazzini said.

This is the second time in six months Rancho San Antonio Park has had to close because of mountain lion encounters.

In August, wildlife officials lured a mother and her cubs away from the trails over safety concerns.

“We try our hardest to make public safety a priority,” Brad Pennington said. “It’s something that you know lions are everywhere in California they’re in all the rural areas.”

Pennington, with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, said the park closures are necessary while they investigate. 

He said they’ll continue to monitor the behavior of all the mountain lions within the preserve.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened and it does have the best outcome possible,” Pennington said.

Check back for updates.

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