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Wildlife Officers: DNA Analysis Shows Slain Mountain Lion Attacked Boy

A sign warning parkgoers of mountain lion activities in the Los Peñasquitos C...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: A sign warning parkgoers of mountain lion activities in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, May 28, 2019.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday DNA analysis shows a mountain lion attacked a 4-year-old boy at the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve on Memorial Day.

The boy was taken the hospital with injuries to his head and back but was released a day later and is expected to make a full recovery.

While investigating the attack Monday wildlife officers said a mountain lion approached them and did not appear to be afraid of humans — so they killed the big cat. The CDFW said it would use DNA analysis to try and see if the slain mountain lion was responsible for the attack and the agency said Friday tests conclusively proved the big cat did attack the boy.

RELATED: Mountain Lion Suspected Of Attacking Boy In Los Peñasquitos Canyon Killed

A CDFW spokesman said forensics scientists were able to match saliva from the boys leg to the mountain lion that was killed by officers. Now the CDFW is testing to see if the animal had rabies but the spokesman said it did not appear to be rabid.

The CDFW said mountain lion attacks are extremely rare and this was the first in San Diego County in more than 20 years.


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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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