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Mountain lion pounces on 8-year-old boy running to see friend, Colorado officials say

What to do if you meet a mountain lion

​​Mountain lions are generally calm, quiet, and elusive. People rarely get more than a brief glimpse of a mountain lion in the wild. Lion attacks on people are rare, with fewer than a dozen fatalities in North America in more than 100 years.
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​​Mountain lions are generally calm, quiet, and elusive. People rarely get more than a brief glimpse of a mountain lion in the wild. Lion attacks on people are rare, with fewer than a dozen fatalities in North America in more than 100 years.

An 8-year-old boy bouncing on a backyard trampoline Wednesday evening with his brother heard a friend call for him down the street, so he took off running, Colorado wildlife officials say.

That’s when a mountain lion pounced on the boy and bit him in the head about 7:30 p.m. in Bailey, southwest of Denver, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife release says.

“The kid was running and it probably triggered the lion’s natural response to a prey animal running,” said Mark Lamb, area wildlife manager, according to the release.

The boy’s brother ran inside and alerted their father, who came outside to investigate, wildlife officials say.

“The father rushed outside and found the mountain lion on top of his son,” the release says. “The mountain lion let go of the child as the father approached and took off running.”

The child has been hospitalized with serious injuries, wildlife officials say.

“We all hope that the child will be (all right) and you just hate to see this occur,” Lamb said, according to the release.

Researchers found four mountain lion kittens living in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California, they announced on Tuesday. The kittens, who are all female, are the first litter found in the Simi Hills area north of Los Angeles.

Colorado wildlife officials searched through the night for the mountain lion using tracking dogs and set a trap for the animal, the release says. The search continued Thursday.

By state policy, the mountain lion must be euthanized because it attacked a person, wildlife officials say.

There have been 22 mountain lion attacks on humans in Colorado since 1990, the release says. Three were fatal, most recently in 1999.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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