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Man Killed by Mountain Lion Attack In Northern California

A fatal mountain lion attack in a remote area of Northern California, west of Lake Tahoe, has resulted in the death of one man and injuries to another, marking the state’s first fatal incident involving a mountain lion in 20 years.

According to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, an 18-year-old man placed a 911 call on Saturday after 1 p.m., reporting that he and his brother had been attacked in Georgetown, a small town north of Placerville, California.

Officials stated that the man who alerted authorities suffered “traumatic injuries to his face” and became separated from his brother during the attack. He received medical attention, and he was transported to a nearby hospital.

Deputies and paramedics conducted a search for the missing brother and discovered a mountain lion crouched next to a man on the ground, the sheriff’s office reported. Shots were fired by deputies to scare off the mountain lion so they could provide aid to the injured man. Unfortunately, the 21-year-old man, who remains unidentified, had succumbed to his injuries.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with the El Dorado County Trapper, were dispatched to the area. They located the mountain lion and “dispatched it,” as stated in a news release.

Prior to this incident, there had been only three fatal mountain lion attacks on humans in California since 1994, according to data from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The most recent occurred in 2004, when a 35-year-old male was fatally mauled at Whiting Ranch Regional Park in Orange County.

The last fatal mountain lion attack in El Dorado County happened in 1994, claiming the life of a 40-year-old woman at Auburn State Recreation Area.

Authorities emphasized that mountain lion attacks are uncommon, and most encounters between these big cats and humans do not result in fatalities.

In a separate incident in 2023, a mountain lion attacked a 5-year-old boy who was out for a walk with his mother and grandparents near Half Moon Bay, a beach community south of San Francisco. The boy’s mother intervened, causing the mountain lion to release her son and flee. This incident occurred near the family’s farm in Half Moon Bay.

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