It’s highly unusual for a mountain lion to attack a human being, especially during the day. But unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened on Memorial Day, here in San Diego. The attack occurred around 2:30pm in a 4,000-acre park known as Carson’s Crossing, in Los Penasquitos Canyon. The victim was a 4-year-old boy and one of about a dozen people present when the attack occurred.
The young boy was apparently in the middle of the group, which scattered when the lion appeared. After the father tried making himself appear large by raising his arms as well as his voice, but without success, he thought fast and threw rocks eventually scaring the 80-pound female lion away. However, this was after the boy sustained head injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, thankfully. He was later transported to Rady Children’s Hospital, according to the Union Tribune.
Unfortunately, as our population continues growing and we continue expanding into the back country, we will most likely see more encounters with cats as we encroach on their habitat. As nocturnal animals, lions usually hunt at night and tend to stay clear of people. But if a cat doesn't show a fear of humans, or just becomes accustomed to us, relocation doesn’t appear to be a solution and the animal is destroyed.
It has been over 20 years since a mountain lion has attacked a human being here in San Diego County, although they're sighted from time to time. I was fortunate enough so see a mountain lion cub years ago while hiking in the Cuyamaca Mountains. It’s rare to see a cub and it also means the mother is most likely nearby keeping an eye on the little one. But regardless, I felt blessed at having witnessed the sighting.
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