California Mom Fights Off Mountain Lion Attacking 5-Year-Old Son With Her Bare Hands

Photo: moosehenderson / Shutterstock
Mountain Lion

One California mother is proving that moms can do anything after saving her son from a mountain lion attack.

Last Thursday, a mountain lion attacked a 5-year-old boy who was playing outside his home in the yard in Calabasas.

The 65-pound mountain lion which was later shot and killed by officials, “dragged him about 45 yards” across the front lawn, said Captain Patrick Foy, a spokesman with the California department of fish and wildlife, on Saturday.

Before that however, the mother had to intervene in order to save her child.

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The brave mom fought off the mountain lion with her bare hands to save her 5-year-old son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” Foy said.

When she heard the commotion happening outside, the mother rushed out there to see her 5-year-old son being dragged away by a mountain lion.

That’s when her ‘fight or flight’ instincts kicked in.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” he said.

After the attack, the parents immediately rushed him to the hospital and informed law enforcement — leading them to send a wildlife officer to the scene.

A wildlife officer later killed the lion. 

Once at the house, a wildfire officer found a mountain lion in the bushes, with its ears back and hissing at him.

“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 sight,” the wildlife department said in a statement.

The statement also confirmed that after running multiple DNA tests, the mountain lion that was killed was in fact the same one from the attack.

The boy unfortunately suffered some significant injuries to his head and torso from the attack, but is in a stable condition at a hospital in LA and is expected to recover.

Another mountain lion spotted in the area was tranquilised and then released into the wild unharmed after being tested to be sure it was not involved in the attack.

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A third mountain lion was reported to be in the area at the time as well. 

It was a collared female who was being tracked as part of a federal mountain lion study and has had no reports of any conflicts with humans.

She reportedly gave birth to cubs in October 2020 and was not captured — the tracking collar indicates she later left the area.

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Mountain lions are common in California.

Despite the shocking nature of the incident, it is not uncommon to find these animals in California.

Mountain lions basically exist anywhere there are deer — since that is their main source of food.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website, the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990 (Proposition 117) legally classified mountain lions as a "specially protected mammal."

In a 1996 study, CDFW estimated 4,000-6,000 mountain lions statewide using density estimates from previous studies, and the population seems to be relatively stable.

But they also implore people not to worry. Mountain lion attacks on humans are uncommon — a person is one thousand times more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion.

They also include ways that you can minimize your risk of being attacked like deer-proofing your home since that’s their main food source, or setting up motion sensored lights that can catch and scare the lions away.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and politics.