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Cougar that bit girl found and euthanized; Rancho to reopen Friday

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Town Crier File Photo
A sign tells Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve visitors what to do in case of a mountain lion encounter.

The mountain lion that attacked a young girl Sunday at Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve has been captured and killed, according to a press release issued Thursday (Feb. 20) by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In coordination with preserve staff, CDFW officers spent three days in the area attempting to locate the puma suspected in the attack, and they found it in a tree Wednesday afternoon. After sedating the female mountain lion – estimated to be 60-70 pounds and 2-4 years old – officers collected a DNA sample and sent it to the CDFW Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento for analysis. The genetic profile matched samples taken from the attack victim the day of the incident, according to the release.

The captured cougar has since been humanely euthanized by CDFW staff for public safety purposes, the release said, because it attacked a human.

The victim, a 6-year-old girl, sustained two puncture wounds and a scratch to her leg that were deemed minor injuries. An adult friend of the girl’s father pushed the puma off her, a CDFW official said.

This marked the second lion attack in California this year, according to the release.

Rancho, which has been closed since the attack, is slated to reopen Friday.

For more, read our initial story on the attack.

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