Boy injured with stab wounds expected to be OK after mountain lion attack in San Mateo County, sheriff says

SAN MATTHEW COUNTY, CA. (KGO) — A 5-year-old boy was “viciously attacked” by a mountain lion Tuesday night in unincorporated San Mateo County, according to officials.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the boy may have died in the attack, but the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office says he is expected to recover.

The boy was hiking with his mother and grandfather on private property when the mountain lion came after him and knocked him to the ground, Fish and Wildlife officials said.

The sheriff says the boy has puncture wounds and the DWF says the cougar chewed him up. Deputies responded to the assault around 6:50 p.m. in the 1000 block of Tunitas Creek Road, where the boy was conscious when he was transported to the hospital.

The attack was said to be unprovoked and the boy’s mother saved his life by picking him up and carrying him to safety.

Game officers were in the area Wednesday morning looking for the mountain lion with the intent to “capture and remove the animal.”

MORE ▼: What to do if you come face to face with a mountain lion

DFW officials will interview the mother and take a sample of mountain lion DNA from the boy’s clothing. That way, if they capture the mountain lion, they can see if it is the one that attacked the boy.

They cannot confirm that it was only one cougar that attacked, or if it was a small one.

Video footage of the area around Tunitas Creek Road shows conditions created for wildlife. That’s why neighbors say they’re not surprised to hear about a mountain lion sighting — but they are surprised about an attack.

In the hours that followed, ABC7 met with a resident who lives on the property next door to where the incident happened. He says he was the first on the scene.

“They were quite calm when I pulled up, they’re my neighbors so I asked them if they were OK. They were very… they were good. They said everybody was fine, but they had to talk to fish and game, and a warden pulled over just as I was coming out,” said neighbor Chad Conover. “Usually mountain lions avoid people, so it’s not often you hear of an attack on a person.”

Conover says the boy was in the back of the property, a home where the child’s parent worked.

On Tuesday evening, the sheriff’s office released the following statement in response to this incident:

“Our coastal community has endured so much over the past few weeks. Our entire agency is saddened by this news and sends very warm wishes to the child for a speedy and full recovery. Our thoughts are with the family at this time.”

Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.

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