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Mountain lion kills man in Northern California attack

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A man was killed and his brother injured Saturday when a mountain lion attacked them as they combed a forested area for deer antlers, according to authorities.

The attack in El Dorado County is believed to be the first fatal incident involving a mountain lion in California in 20 years.

“At 1:13 p.m., the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call indicating that two people had been attacked by a mountain lion,” the department said in a news release.

The man who was killed was 21. His 18-year-old brother was expected to survive his injuries.

Deputies who responded to the call came across the mountain lion beside a body, authorities said.

“They located a mountain lion crouched down next to a downed individual,” Sgt. Kyle Parker told Fox 40 News. “The mountain lion was facing the deputies, and in an attempt to get to the individual to render first aid, they discharged their firearms. It’s unsure whether the mountain lion was struck or not. They believe that it was; however, that is still undetermined at this time.”

Personnel from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are tracking the animal.

Beth Pratt, who heads the nonprofit National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign, posted on social media that this was the first fatal attack in California since 2004.

“Mountain lion attacks are extremely rare,” Pratt wrote. “Mountain lions have killed four people since 1986, in a state with a population of 40 million. These statistics don’t diminish the tragedy when a person is killed or injured by a lion, but it puts the risk in perspective. Automobiles, by contrast, cause on average … 3,000-4,000 deaths each year in California.”

Pratt added, “Most Americans’ encounters with mountain lions occur without us even being aware of it.”



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