A seven-year-old boy was attacked from behind by a mountain lion as he walked through a park.
The boy was making his way up a set of stairs at the Pico Canyon Park in Santa Clarita, California, when the wild animal pounced and bit him on the backside.
The Department of Parks and Recreation in Los Angeles County have now closed the park and as an investigation begins.
As part of the investigation, the boy’s wounds have been swabbed for DNA to see if they could match it to a known wild cat in the area.
Capt. Patrick Foy from the California Fish and Wildlife Department said: “The young boy — about 7-year-old boy — was walking up some stairs and was attacked from behind by a mountain lion and bitten in the buttocks.”
The boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery after receiving hospital treatment.
In a statement to ABC news , the Department of Parks and Recreation said: “According to Fish and Wildlife authorities, the investigation is being carried out as if this were a confirmed attack, however, the investigation is still ongoing.”
Experts tracking the mountain lion placed a trap in the closed off park to see if they could lure the animal out from hiding.
If the animal is found it is likely the big cat would be destroyed by authorities.
Captain Foy added: “Everything we do and every part of our mission is to better help wildlife and people coexist.
“Having a situation like this where wild animals start attacking — especially small children — that is a super difficult part of our job.”
Parks and rural areas around California are populated by mountain lions who have been known to attack humans – sometimes targeting young children.
Last year, a fearless mum fought off a mountain lion by punching the animal away from her five-year-old son.
The unnamed Californian woman saw the 65 pound predator drag her child “around 45 yards” across the lawn of their home in Calabasas in the Santa Monica mountains.
The boy suffered traumatic head and torso injuries during the attack but is still alive thanks to the actions of his brave mum, a law enforcement officer said.
While the young lad was recovering from the terrifying attack at a Los Angeles hospital, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain James Foy paid tribute to her, according to the New York Post .
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