California wildlife officials believe that a rare mountain lion attack was responsible for the mauling of a homeless man in his roadside encampment last Friday.
KTLA News reported that if forensic testing proves the animal was a cougar, it will be the first mountain lion attack in California in the last seven years.
The homeless man, whose identity has not yet been released, was sleeping in his encampment in Perris, California when a large animal approached the camp and attacked him. The animal apparently sank it’s teeth into the man’s neck and clawed his body leaving him with massive trauma wounds. Amazingly, the man remained in his camp through the night without seeking medical attention.
Mountain Lion Attacks A RarityIf forensic testing proves the attacking animal was a cougar, it will be the first mountain lion attack within the last seven years in California. According to the San Jose Mercury News, only 16 verified mountain lion attacks have been reported since 1890, six of which were fatal mountain lion attacks.
“After he was attacked it appears that he wrapped himself up with a big blanket, comforter-type thing, and possibly spent some time at night like that,” said Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “The comforter is absolutely soaked with blood… it’s amazing that anyone could survive.”
On Saturday morning, the man walked to a nearby house and knocked on a door asking for help, telling the residence owner that he had been attacked by an animal. He is still in the hospital as doctors are treating his massive trauma wounds.
Wildlife officials are now scouring the area for the animal, which they believe is a cougar. They’ve placed baited traps and are operating weekend night patrols with infrared vision and helicopters. Forensic scientists in Sacramento are testing the man’s clothing to determine if it was a cougar and find out the animal’s sex.
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There have only been a handful of mountain lion attacks in the state’s history. According to the San Jose Mercury News, only 16 verified cougar attacks have been reported since 1890, six of which were fatal.
What do you think – is it possible that a mountain lion went out of its way to attack a human? Have you ever encountered an aggressive mountain lion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.