(Reuters) – A mountain lion attacked and injured a 6-year-old boy hiking with family and friends on Sunday along a wooded trail in California’s Silicon Valley before two adults managed to frighten the cat away, a state wildlife official said.
The attack occurred at about 1 p.m. local time in an open-space preserve adjacent to the historic Picchetti Ranch Winery just west of the town of Cupertino, said Lieutenant Patrick Foy of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The victim’s parents reported that the child was walking about 10 feet ahead of the rest of the group – two adult couples each hiking with their three small children – when “the mountain lion came out of nowhere” and grabbed the boy.
The lion, also known as a cougar, broke off its attack and vanished back into the woods when the two men in the group lunged at the cat shouting to scare it away, Foy told Reuters.
He said the 6-year-old boy suffered bite wounds and scratches to his upper body, head and neck.
The boy’s injuries were not life-threatening but serious enough that he was hospitalized, Foy said. The Los Angeles Times reported the boy was listed in fair condition.