Mountain lion kills man, injures brother in rare California fatal attack

By Thomson Reuters Mar 24, 2024 | 11:56 AM

(Reuters) – A mountain lion killed a 21-year-old man and gravely wounded his younger brother in California’s El Dorado County, northwest of Sacramento on Saturday, local authorities said.

The incident in a remote forest area near Georgetown was the first fatal attack of a human by a mountain lion in California in about 20 years, according to the statistics compiled by the state’s department of fish and wildlife.

The two young brothers had been out hunting for shed deer antlers when they were attacked by the large feline in the early hours of the afternoon.

The younger sibling, who alerted emergency services, suffered traumatic injuries to his face and was separated from his brother in the attack, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. He was taken to a hospital and was expected to survive, according to media reports.

As deputies began searching for the older brother they spotted a mountain lion crouched near an individual on the ground. The officers fired shots to scare off the animal so they could render aid but found the 21-year-old already deceased, the release said.

Wildlife agents later located the mountain lion and euthanized it near the scene of the attack, the department said. Its remains were sent to a forensic laboratory to obtain DNA and other information about the animal.

Last month, a group of cyclists were attacked by a cougar while on an excursion on a trial in Washington state. A woman was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Marguerita Choy)