The mountain lion in Northern California which attacked a 6-year-old boy hiking with his family on Sunday is still at large and has eluded park rangers who have swept the area searching for it.
The victim of the attack, who was on a hike in the afternoon in Santa Clara County open space, was reportedly pounced upon by the lion which began dragging him away as his father fought desperately with the animal.
KTVU reported that Fish and Wildlife Warden Patrick Foy said, “Two families were walking together, four adults and six children. The boy had gone ahead of the group, about ten feet, and that’s when the lion got him.”
The boy, who has not yet been named, suffered from puncture wounds and scratches. He is still recovering from his ordeal at a local medical facility.
Park visitor Shawn Ardaiz told reporters, “The man came down the trail carrying his son and it looked like he had a laceration on his neck and was bleeding pretty heavily all over.”
Apparently, the mountain lion attacked the boy from behind before attempting to drag him into bushes nearby.
Warden Travis Jarrett, said, “It did end up taking him to a brushy area and his parents did have to fight the animal off.”
The families were allegedly enjoying their hike and had walked about a mile up a path known as the Zinfandel trail. The lion pounced soon after they had turned around to head back.
Julie DeWirst told KTVU, “We saw a small child and they were wrapping his head. That makes your heart just break, and to think the parents were there and saw it grab him, I can’t even imagine going through that.”
A spokesperson from the Valley Medical Center in San Jose spoke to reporters about the child’s condition, saying, “Everything that could be done is being done, and he’s improved already, so that’s a good sign. His parents are with him; they are concerned and attentive, he’s getting all of their focus and he’s getting great care.”
Park rangers are working furiously to find the mountain lion and have even called in a federal trapper with expertise in tracking the cats. Once they find the cat they will use DNA from it to make sure it is the perpetrator of the attack on the boy.