CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — A hunting expedition is being organized Monday morning to go after a mountain lion that attacked a child in the hills just outside Cupertino on a popular hiking trail.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife says the probability of another attack is very high. At sunrise, they hit the scent trail again with four dogs that are specially trained to hunt down mountain lions.
The boy was attacked around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon on a hiking trail along Montebello Road near the Pichetti Winery.
The family was about two miles away from the main picnic grounds when the boy was attacked from behind and dragged into the bushes. Family members rushed over and scared it away by making loud noises.
The boy went into the hospital in serious condition with injuries to his head and neck, but was later upgraded to good condition. He was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.
DFW brought in four dogs to the exact spot along the trail where the attack happened. If they find the mountain lion, they will have to put it down.
The boy was no more than 10 feet away from his parents when the mountain lion pounced.
“Extraordinarily lucky that he survived the attack,” said DFW Lt. Patrick Floy. “These animals are quite powerful and absolutely cold have killed this little boy, so he’s very lucky to be alive.”
Attacks are very rare — there have been 16 since 1890.
If the search team finds any mountain lion in the area, they will shoot to kill and bring it in for rabies testing. It has shown to be very aggressive and the wardens say they aren’t taking any chances.