The California Department of Fish and Game reports a Mountain Lion attacked a camper who was in his sleeping bag on a tributary to the Yuba River northwest of Nevada City in the early morning hours Sunday, July 1st. Warden Patrick Foy says the Mountain Lion is still on the loose and at this time trackers are attempting to track and kill the Mountain Lion.
Foy says the 63 year old man from the Bay Area has traveled to the Yuba River many times before and was very familiar with the area where he was attacked.
He said it bit through his cap and his clothes. The animal ceased the attack, look at at him from 15 feet away for another 15 to 30 seconds, then ran into the night. The man drove himself to the hospital in Grass Valley where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and later released. DFG wardens responded to the hospital and verified that he had suffered severe scratches and puncture wounds and collected several articles of clothing and his sleeping bag which were analyzed at DFG’s Wildlife Forensic’s Lab in Sacramento to gather DNA of the animal. Tracks of the Mountain Lion were found at the scene and specially trained dogs attempted to track the lion but were not successful. The effort to find the lion continues. Warden Foy says what to do if you encounter a Mountain Lion.
Warden Foy says this is an extremely rare occurrence. California now has had 15 confirmed mountain lion attacks since 1890. Foy says a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be attacked by a Mountain Lion in California.