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Wildlife officials confirm mountain lion linked to attack on child

Because of its proximity, California Department of Fish and Wildlife believe a mountain lion was responsible for the attack.

SAN DIEGO — A 4-year-old child was recovering Saturday from minor injuries following an attack by a mountain lion at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve in Poway, according to a California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson.

That incident happened Friday afternoon at about 2:40 p.m., when the boy was walking in the reserve with several family members. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers responded to the scene and began to search for the animal. 

A lion matching the description given by the family members was located near the site of the attack and was dispatched due to public safety concerns. Because of its proximity, CDFW believes this lion was responsible for the attack.

The child was scratched on the back and thigh. Fortunately, the injuries were minor. A full recovery is expected. 

The Blue Sky Ecological Reserve reopened Saturday after its closure on Friday due to the incident. 

Though mountain lion attacks on humans are very rare, CDFW advises taking these extra steps to ensure safety when taking advantage of the state’s many enjoyable hikes and other outdoor experiences: 

  • Do not hike, bike or jog alone. Stay alert on trails. 
  • Avoid hiking when mountain lions are most active – dawn, dusk and at night. 
  • Keep children and small animals as close to large adults as possible. 
  • Never approach a mountain lion. Do not run and stay calm. Be vocal. 

More information on mountain lion behavior and how to stay safe can be found here.