Santa Clara County park closed after mountain lion attacks 6-year-old girl on hiking trail


California Department of Fish and Wildlife and local park officials are on the hunt for a mountain lion that attacked a 6-year-old girl over the weekend on a Santa Clara County trail near Cupertino.

At about 10 a.m. Sunday, the girl and a group of nine people were walking in a brushy area where the trail narrows on the Wildcat Loop when a mountain lion attacked the child, said Korrine Skinner, public affairs manager for Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

One of the adults shoved the large cat while others scared it off, Skinner said.

Rangers treated the girl for small cuts at the scene and she was released to her parents later that day, Skinner said.

The Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve was closed as state officials and Midpeninsula rangers investigate the incident.


“They’re on scene and what they’re trying to do right now is locate the animal and take a DNA sample and make sure it’s the same mountain lion,” Skinner said. State officials will determine how to proceed after the investigation, she added.

Mountain lions typically avoid areas of human activity and are easily scared off by loud noises, according to Midpeninsula officials. The felines live throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains region and Midpeninsula officials described the encounter as “very unusual.”

Earlier this year, public safety officials killed a mountain lion after it attacked a 3-year-old boy at a Lake Forest park in Orange County. The child suffered neck injuries and abrasions.

A mountain lion was also recently killed in the Santa Monica Mountains under a state law that allows lethal action if livestock or pets are attacked or if other deterrents have failed.