State and federal wildlife trackers, using search dogs, were unable Tuesday to locate the mountain lion suspected of attacking a sleeping hiker near Nevada City early Sunday morning.
The warm days apparently acted to quickly erase any scent trace from the cougar, said Patrick Foy, California Department of Fish and Game spokesman.
But the team did find fresh mountain lion tracks left near the site of the attack Monday night, so it plans to continue searching through Friday.
DNA analysis of saliva left on the victim's shirt identified the lion as a female. Foy said a female is more likely to remain in the area, whereas a male would likely roam farther.
He said Fish and Game plans to kill the lion if it is found. The victim, a 63-year-old Bay Area man, is recovering from severe bites and cuts. Officials are withholding his identity.
- Bee metro staff