Mountain lion kills man in first deadly attack in California in 20 years

Mountain lion kills man in first deadly attack in California in 20 years

A man has been left dead in California after a mountain lion attacked two brothers, the first fatal attack of its kind in two decades in the state.

An 18-year-old man and his 21-year-old brother were out antler shed hunting on Saturday in a remote part of Georgetown when they were attacked by a mountain lion, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies from the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from the 18-year-old at around 1.13pm, reporting that he and his brother had just been attacked, leaving him with traumatic injuries to his face.

He was also separated from his brother while the lion was attacking them.

Around 20 minutes after his call, deputies and paramedics arrived in the area and began giving aid to the 18-year-old while other deputies started to search for his missing brother.

At 1.46pm, deputies spotted a mountain lion crouching next to a second man on the ground.

They shot their firearms to scare the mountain lion off so they could get to the man and render aid. Unfortunately, the man was deceased.

A spokesperson for the family said that the 18-year-old has undergone multiple surgeries for his injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

Authorities have not released the names of the deceased victim and his injured brother at this time.

Wardens and trappers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and an El Dorado County trapper were called to the area to find the mountain lion. They located the animal and “dispatched it”.

The lion was euthanised near the scene, and the body was sent to a forensics laboratory for DNA examination.

The CDFW confirmed on Sunday that DNA samples collected from the scene matched samples that were taken from the mountain lion’s carcass, meaning it was the same animal that performed the deadly attack.

The mountain lion weighed 90 pounds and appeared to be healthy, but further analysis by forensic scientists will determine if it had any underlying health conditions.

Authorities have been left astonished at this unusual incident, as reported mountain lion attacks are rare.

“A fatality like this is extremely rare,” Kyle Parker, El Dorado sheriff’s office spokesperson, told local news station KCRA.

This tragic attack marks the first confirmed fatality from a mountain lion attack in California in 20 years, CDFW data shows.

The last person to lose their life by a mountain lion was a 35-year-old man in January 2004 in the Whiting Ranch Regional Park in Orange County.

Since then, there have been about a dozen attacks on humans by mountain lions in the state, however, none of which ended in a death until Saturday’s horrific event.

Josh Rosenau, the director of policy at the Mountain Lion Foundation, a California-based non-profit, explained to The Telegraph that this attack is “incredibly rare”.

“Mountain lions are basically scaredy cats. They’re looking for deer, not people. If you make yourself look big and scary, they will almost always turn and run,” he said.

El Dorado County also recommends that you try to appear larger than the mountain lion if you encounter one by raising your arms and opening jackets, and small children should also be picked up.

They add that you should not run from a lion you encounter and try to fight back if attacked.