STEVENSON RANCH, Calif. — Officials have closed a Santa Clarita park after a young boy was attacked by a mountain lion.
The 7-year-old boy and his father had been walking up stairs in Pico Canyon Park on Monday evening when a mountain lion came up from behind them and bit the boy in the buttock, wildlife officials told The Los Angeles Times.
Wildlife officials told The Los Angeles Times that the father heard his son shout in pain and charged toward the animal, which ran away.
“The little guy got a little bit ahead of the dad, and next thing you know the dad heard a cry out from the son, and the dad responded, and saw a mountain lion in the process of attacking his son,” Patrick Foy, primary information officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told KCBS.
In a post on social media, the Los Angeles Department of Parks & Recreation said that Pico Canyon Park would remain closed indefinitely because of an aggressive mountain lion in the area.
The child was taken to the hospital, where the bite wounds were swabbed for DNA.
“You can gain a DNA profile that gives you two things,” Foy told KTLA. “One, it can conclusively prove that a mountain lion is responsible for the attack. And two, it can give you a DNA profile of the actual offending animal.”
Mountain lion attacks are so rare that only 20 have been confirmed in California in more than 100 years of record-keeping, Foy told The Los Angeles Times.
Wildlife officials told KCBS that they are looking for the mountain lion, and have set traps using deer carcasses. If the animal is caught, officials said they would most likely have to euthanize it.
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