LAKE FOREST (CBSLA) — A 3-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion Monday afternoon, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
The attack happened in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Lake Forest at about 4:15 p.m.
According to the OCFA, a family of six was walking down a hiking trail when a mountain lion attacked the child, grabbing him by the neck.
“The mountain lion came out of somewhere, attacked the 3-year-old, grabbed him by the neck and started dragging him,” a spokesperson for OCFA said.
That’s when the father of the child threw a backpack to distract the animal. The mountain lion then dropped the child, picked up the backpack and went up into a tree.
“She had her son in her arms,” Landon Wright, a witness, said. “The son was kind of crying and a little scared.”
The child was airlifted to CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital. He was discharged after being treated for minor injuries.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department evacuated and closed the park following the attack.
OC deputies, with the approval of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, killed the mountain lion due to a threat to public safety, the department said. Its body was being taken up to Sacramento to be tested.