ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KCBS/KCAL/CNN) – A father’s quick thinking saved his 3-year-old son from a mountain lion.
The family of six was going for a hike in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on Monday afternoon when the mountain lion attacked the child.
"A mountain lion came out of somewhere, attacked the 3-year-old, grabbed him by the neck and started dragging him," said Capt. Tony Bommarito with the Orange County Fire Authority.
The boy’s father was quick to toss a backpack at the mountain lion to distract it. The animal dropped the boy, grabbed the backpack and went up into a tree.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the mountain lion had to be shot and killed in the interest of public safety. Its body was taken to Sacramento for DNA testing.
The boy was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. He’s since been discharged.
In 2004, a mountain lion attacked two people at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, killing one of the victims.