A mountain lion that savagely attacked a 5-year-old boy who was hiking with his family in California will not be removed from the wild, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The boy, identified by a relative only as Jack, could have succumbed to his injuries had his mother not taken him to safety after the horrific attack on Tuesday night.
A DNA test on the animal confirmed that it was the same mountain lion that was responsible for the boy’s trauma. The Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a tweet.
The department said it has been repeatedly denied access to private property where the animal is believed to be, forcing it to complete an investigation into the attack.
“Since the day of the attack, CDFW and affiliated agency personnel have been denied access to primary private property and adjacent private property for the purpose of attempting to capture the invasive mountain lion,” the department said.
“This lack of access, combined with deteriorating weather and the nomadic nature of mountain lions, has reduced the chances of successful capture of the invasive mountain lion.”
On the day of the attack, Jack was not traveling far from his family’s farm with his mother and grandfather. According to authorities, the young boy ran forward when the mountain lion pounced on him and knocked him to the ground.
Jack’s mother accuses the animal, believed to be a child, of eventually scaring her.
The boy was taken to a trauma center where he was treated for puncture wounds and other injuries.
“Jack has multiple injuries, especially to his precious face, in addition to a fracture near one eye,” his aunt, Amy Wagner, wrote on a GoFundMe page to help with Jack’s medical expenses. “He is covered in cuts, bruises and scratches but his spirit is intact.”
“I’m not surprised that if there was a kid who wrestled a mountain lion and came out on top, it would be Jake,” he noted.
Jack was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
Mountain lions rarely attack humans. In the state of California, there have only been 20 confirmed attacks in more than a century, according to the Department of Fire and Wildlife.
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