A state wildlife officer shot and killed a mountain lion after it grabbed and mauled a 5-year-old boy in his front yard in upper Malibu Canyon earlier this week.
The boy was pulled from the lion’s grasp his mother, who fended off the lion by striking it multiple times, officials said. California Fish and Wildlife officials released confirmation Saturday morning.
The attack is the first verified report of an attack by a mountain lion on a human in the Santa Monica Mountains in recent history.
The mountain lion was believed to have been a juvenile, about 65 pounds, one of two that had been spotted near the Monte Nido Fire Station in recent days.
The boy suffered wounds to his head, neck and upper torso from the attack, which happened at about 10:45 a.m. Thursday. The incident happened at a home near the fire station at Piuma Road at Cold Canyon Road.
In the hours after the attack, a state game officer said he spotted a small, aggressive mountain lion crouched in the corner of the property were the child lived.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and, to protect public safety, shot and killed it on site,” the state Fish and Wildlife said in a news release.
Two more mountain lions appeared 20 minutes after the shooting, including one described as a full-grown adult with a radio collar around its neck. The other was a smaller mountain lion, about the same size as the one that had been killed.
After confirming with the boy’s mother that the attacking lion did not have a collar, the wildlife officer shot a tranquilizer dart at the smaller mountain lion, the one not wearing a collar.
DNA samples from the killed lion, the tranquilized lion and the child were collected and sent to CDFW’s Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento.
Samples from underneath the dead lion’s found human tissue and blood with a DNA profile that matched the boy, and DNA tests of the child’s shirt matched the dead lion, the state agency said.
National Park Service wildlife experts said the adult collared lion is P-54, a female who is part of an NPS mountain lion study. P-54 is known to have birthed cubs in October 2020 and has no known human-wildlife conflicts in her history.
She was not captured and her collar reading showed she has since vacated the neighborhood.
The other cub, when awakened from the tranquilizer, was outfitted with a radio collar and released near P-54 in what the state called “the nearest suitable habitat.”
Ed note:Ed note: It took us two days to get confirmation on this. Although the Nextdoor postings appeared credible, it is KBUU’s policy not to go with unconfirmed information on matters like this.