SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A 5-year-old boy who was attacked by a mountain lion while hiking in rural Northern California with his mother and grandfather has been released from a hospital, authorities said Wednesday.
A GoFundMe established by someone claiming to be the victim’s aunt was confirmed as authentic by KRON4. In the GoFundMe, the boy was identified as Jack Trexler, a five-year-old. According to his aunt, Amie Wagner, Jack suffered many lacerations as a result of the attack, particularly on his face, along with a fracture near one of his eyes.
“Last night, my precious 5-year-old nephew, Jack, was attacked by a mountain lion while out on a hike on his farm in Half Moon Bay. His warrior mama, Suzie Trexler, was able to scare it off and prevent him from further injury,” Wagner said in a social media post. “He is covered in lacerations and bruises, especially on his face, in addition to a fracture near his eye but he is going to be okay.”
The boy had raced ahead of the adults on a trail in San Mateo County, south of San Francisco, Tuesday when the big cat pounced on him and pinned him to the ground, said Capt. Patrick Foy, a spokesman with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“The little boy was pretty viciously attacked by a mountain lion that took him to the ground and began biting into him,” Foy said.
He said the boy fought the mountain lion and tried to free himself but the animal only let go after the child’s mother charged at it.
“Right before she even made physical contact with the lion, the lion released the little boy,” Foy said.
He said the child was released from Stanford Medical Center Tuesday evening.
The attack was reported shortly before 7 p.m. on Tunitas Creek Road, south of Half Moon Bay. It occurred in a private property in a remote location east of Highway 1, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department said.
Mountain lion attacks on humans are rare. About 20 confirmed attacks have occurred in California in more than a century of record-keeping, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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Last September, a 7-year-old boy was bitten by a mountain lion while walking with his father around dusk in a park near Santa Clarita in Southern California. The father scared the animal away and the child was treated for relatively minor wounds.
A representative of the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife told KRON4 that wildlife officers interviewed the victim’s mom and collected evidence in the form of clothing the child was wearing and wound swabs. Evidence collected is being sent to the department’s Sacramento forensics lab.
The department is still working to gain access to the property in order to track down the mountain lion.