Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said the mountain lion attacked the boy on Wednesday night while he was playing in his backyard.
*Updated on August 26 at 4:46 p.m.:
A Colorado boy was injured in a mountain lion attack on Wednesday night, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials said Thursday. The boy, 8, and his brother were in their backyard playing on the trampoline at their home in Bailey when a neighbor friend called for him, so he ran over. That's when the mountain lion attacked the boy, biting him on his head.
We can confirm this is a mountain lion attack on a young boy. Wildlife officers are searching the scene. A dog team has been called in to help search the area for the mountain lion & because of that Bailey residents are asked to please keep their pets indoors.— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) August 22, 2019
The brother then ran into the house to grab his dad, who then rushed outside to find the mountain lion on top of his son. "The mountain lion let go of the children as the father approached and took off running. A 911 call was made and the boy was taken to the hospital," officials said in a press release. The 8-year-old is in fair condition, reports say.
CPW officers set a trap as well as sent a team of dogs to search for the mountain lion, but two hours had passed and the dogs could not pick up its scent to track it. However, on Thursday, a landowner nearby reported that his goat was missing and that he'd seen two mountain lions in the area. Officers responded, ultimately finding the two lions—one that fit the description of the lion that attacked the 8-year-old boy.
Wildlife officers set a trap near the scene of the mountain lion attack in Bailey, Colo., Wednesday evening. A dog team was also used overnight trying to track down the mountain lion from the attack. Efforts are ongoing Thursday to locate the mountain lion. pic.twitter.com/OBWr2efQj2— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) August 22, 2019
The two mountain lions were euthanized and a necropsy was performed on the lions before they were sent to a forensics lab in Wyoming for DNA analysis. "By policy, any wildlife attack on a human resulting in injury, that animal must be put down," the press release states.
It was announced on Monday, August 26, that one of the two mountain lions that CPW officers euthanized was responsible for the attack on the 8-year-old after DNA samples matched. The second mountain lion was also tested, but did not match DNA samples.
"It is reassuring to know that the mountain lion from both the attack and depredation of the goat was removed from the area," said Area Wildlife Manager Mark Lamb.
This attack on the boy marks as the third mountain lion attack to happen in Colorado this year—one happened earlier this month in Kremmling and the other on a trail runner in Fort Collins on February 4. The last time three mountain lion attacks occurred in the same year was more than 20 years ago, in 1998. Since 1990, there have been 22 mountain lion attacks in Colorado, with three of them being fatal.
Several mountain lion and bobcat sightings have been reported throughout the state over the last few months, as well as three separate bear attacks being reported in Aspen.
Click here for a list of some tips on how to keep your pets (and loved ones) safe from wild animals.