Mountain lion put down after attacking 6-year-old girl on Cupertino trail

Bay Area

CUPERTINO, Calif. (KRON) — Wildlife officials have been on high alert after a mountain lion attacked a 6-year-old girl on a Cupertino trail Sunday morning.

Since the attack, preserve staff and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife focused on capturing the mountain lion using highly trained dogs as well as other methods.

Wednesday afternoon, officers found a mountain lion in a tree. The female lion, around 60-70 pounds and between two to four years old, was sedated and a DNA sample was sent to a CDFW lab in Sacramento for analysis.

The sample was found to be a match to the samples taken from the girl on the day of the incident.

Since the mountain lion was confirmed to be the same one in the attack, CDFW staff put it down for “public safety purposes”.

“CDFW is actively engaged in mountain lion conservation across the state. However, public safety is a top priority. We made the decision to euthanize the lion because it was confirmed to have attacked a human.”

Jordan Traverso, Deputy Director of Communications, Education and Outreach, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The girl is recovering from minor injuries.

Officials say she was walking with her friends and family that Sunday morning at the Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve when the big cat came out of nowhere and grabbed her leg.

One of the adults reacted quickly and punched the lion in the side and it immediately let go. The girl only suffered some small cuts and was released to her parents.

This is the second lion attack in California in 2020. Both were nonfatal.

The last confirmed attack was in Orange County in January.

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