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Mountain lion kills man, injures another in Northern California

Authorities said a man was killed and his brother was injured Saturday when a mountain lion attacked them as they were combing a wooded area for deer antlers.

The attack in El Dorado County is believed to be the first fatal mountain lion incident in California in 20 years.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 1:13 p.m. from an 18-year-old reporting that he and his 21-year-old brother had been attacked by a mountain lion in a remote area of ​​the city of Georgetown in Northern California’s Gold Country. The younger brother suffered “traumatic injuries” to his face and was separated from his brother during the attack, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics arrived in the area about 10 minutes later and provided medical aid to the 18-year-old. They soon found a mountain lion crouching next to the other killed victim and shot at the animal to scare it away.

Two state Department of Fish and Wildlife game wardens and an El Dorado County trapper shot the mountain lion, which was still in “immediate proximity” to the scene, said Sgt. Kyle Parker of the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office. The animal’s body was taken for examination to “determine why the attack occurred,” Parker said.

The younger brother was expected to survive, officials said.

Beth Pratt, director of the nonprofit National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign, posted on social media that this was the first fatal attack in California since 2004.

“Mountain lion attacks are extremely rare,” Pratt wrote. “Mountain lions have killed four people in a state of 40 million people since 1986. These statistics do not diminish the tragedy of a person being killed or injured by a lion, but they do put the risk into perspective. In contrast, in California, cars cause an average of 3,000 to 4,000 deaths each year.

“Most Americans’ encounters with mountain lions occur without us even being aware of them,” the post continued.

A jogger was killed by a mountain lion in El Dorado County in 1994. The victim’s body was found near the Sierra Foothill Trail where she had been running, with signs of repeated attacks, before being dragged 30 meters downhill to a spot near a tree. Her body was covered with leaves and other debris, as mountain lions do to hide their prey. A week later, trackers located the animal and killed it.

Parker said that although mountain lions are common in rural El Dorado County, they are not often seen during the day because they are typically most active at night. “You’re kind of a unicorn in a way,” he said. “They’re pretty elusive.”

But he said her scream was distinctive – like a “lady screaming”.

Wildlife officials said encounters between humans and mountain lions are expected to increase because of the shared terrain.

To protect yourself from attacks, they warn against hiking alone and keeping children nearby. in accordance with El Dorado County advisories. If you see a lion, do not approach it or run away, but try to appear larger by raising your arms or unzipping your jacket. Try to drive it away by throwing stones or sticks. And if you are attacked, face the animal to avoid being bitten in the head or neck, and defend yourself with rocks, sticks, hats, jackets, garden tools or bare hands.

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