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4-year-old suffers head injuries in mountain lion attack at San Diego nature preserve

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Mountain lion attack in San Diego

SAN DIEGO — A 4-year-old boy was recovering well following an attack by a mountain lion at a nature preserve in San Diego, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday, May 28.

The boy was in good condition and expected to be released from Rady Children’s Hospital, spokesman Carlos Delgado said.

The attack happened Monday afternoon when the boy and his family were hiking in a group along a trail the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve with 10 other people. The boy suffered head injuries, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Scott Bringman said at a news conference.

The boy’s injuries were not life-threatening, Bringman added. He was not identified.

When the mountain lion attacked, everyone scattered, with the exception of the boy’s father, who began throwing rocks to scare the mountain lion away, Bringman said.

During their investigation, Fish and Wildlife officers initially saw animal prints and later that night spotted the animal. Bringman said the wardens believe it was the same animal that attacked the boy, as it did not appear to be afraid of the wardens.

The female mountain lion was euthanized and would be tested for DNA from the victim. The child’s clothing and bandages would also be tested for the mountain lion’s DNA.

The park was closed until investigators could confirm it was the same mountain lion.

Bringman said the last mountain lion attack in San Diego County was more than 20 years ago.

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