Entries in Mountain Lion (4)


Man Survives Mountain Lion Attack in California

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEVADA COUNTY, Calif.) -- A mountain lion mauled a man inside his sleeping bag early Sunday morning, according to the California Department of Fish and Game.

The 63-year-old victim survived, and he was treated for non-life-threatening puncture wounds to his hand, back, and scalp after he drove himself to a nearby hospital, the department said.

The man – whom officials have not named -- was asleep in his sleeping bag near the Yuba River in Nevada County when he woke up to "pressure on his head" at about 1 a.m., department spokesperson Patrick Foy told KXTV, ABC's affiliate in Sacramento.

That pressure was a mountain lion's paw.

The animal reportedly bit and clawed through the man's sleeping bag for up to two minutes, leaving him with "severe scratches and several puncture wounds," according to a department statement. It also bit through the man's cap and his clothes.

Then the mountain lion stopped, walked 15 feet away to stare at the hiker, and disappeared, the hiker reported.

Wardens later brought dogs to track the animal, but they were unsuccessful. The lion left tracks and a domestic cat carcass in its wake.

This is the fifteenth mountain lion attack on a human in the state since 1890, according to department records. Of those, six have been fatal.

Records show that the last attack happened in January 2007 in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. That victim, a 70-year-old man, also survived.

"Clearly this is a very, very rare occurrence," Foy said. "You're more likely to be attacked by certainly a domestic dog or to be struck by lightning than you are to be attacked by a mountain lion."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


California: Top Official Poses with Dead Mountain Lion

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) – A photograph of the California Fish and Wildlife Commission president smiling and holding up a dead mountain lion that he shot has ignited controversy in the state, where hunting the creatures has been illegal since 1990.

Dan Richards, however, shot the animal in Idaho, where hunting the cats is legal.

Richards isn’t supposed to bring it back to California, though, and it was unclear if he had.

California’s Prop. 117, which banned the hunting of mountain lions, also made it illegal for residents to bring dead mountain lions into the state.

“Californians sort of trust the Fish and Game Department and their commission to be the protectors of our wildlife resources, and this person is showing that he really doesn’t care,” Tim Dunbar, executive of the Mountain Lion Foundation, told ABC News affiliate KABC.

One state legislator is even calling for Richards to be ousted.

“He’s thumbing his nose at California law,” Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, told the San Jose Mercury News. “He’s mocking it. Frankly, I think he should face the music and step down. He’s done something that’s a disgrace to his position and to responsible hunters in California.”

Richards did not respond to ABC News’ request for an interview.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boy, 6, Survives Mountain Lion Attack

ABC News (BREWSTER COUNTY, Texas) -- A 6-year-old boy is recovering from a mountain lion attack that left him with scrapes and puncture wounds to his face.

Rivers Hobbs was walking with his family on a sidewalk between a restaurant and Chisos Mountain Lodge, where the family was staying in Big Bend National Park in west Texas, when a mountain lion attacked him and clawed at his face.

The cat let go only after Jason Hobbs, Rivers' father, was able to stab it in the chest with a knife.

A representative from the Big Bend National Park said it was the second attack of the day, but in the other incident the people were able to drive off the mountain lion by hitting it with a backpack.

“From the description, it’s small and haggard looking,” park spokesman David Elkowitz told the Houston Chronicle. “It would appear to be a young lion.”

Park officials are still looking for the mountain lion.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Long Trek: Cougar Walked from South Dakota to Connecticut

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision(MILFORD, Conn.) -- The mountain lion that met an untimely death on a Connecticut highway last month had walked 1,500 miles from South Dakota, environmental officials say -- an incredible journey tracked through DNA samples collected in the Midwest over the last two years.

The 140-pound male cougar, whose age is estimated at between 2 and 5 years, almost certainly left its native habitat to look for mates but went in the wrong direction, according to Adrian Wydeven, mammal ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "He was looking for love in all the wrong places," he said.

The mountain lion was struck by an SUV on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford, Conn., on June 11. The driver was unhurt, but the cougar died at the scene.

Experts initially believed it had been released or escaped from captivity, given that no mountain lion had been sighted in the state in more than 100 years.

But Daniel Esty, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said in a statement Tuesday that genetic tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Wildlife Genetics Laboratory showed that the animal had traveled from the Black Hills of South Dakota. DNA samples of scat (droppings), blood and hair -- taken at one site in Minnesota and three sites in Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010 of a mountain lion whose movements were tracked in those states -- confirmed the findings.

The cougar was not neutered or declawed -- more evidence that it was a wild creature -- and had no implanted microchips. Porcupine quills were found under its skin -- another sign of its having lived in the wild.

Biologists believe the creature wandered through Ontario and New York State before arriving in Connecticut. Normally, mountain lions only travel 100 miles or so looking for mates, and it's not clear why this cougar took such an epic journey.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio