Mountain lion attacks 3-year-old in California park

The state's Department of Fish and Wildlife gave approval to euthanize the animal "due to the public safety threat."
Image: A 3-year-old boy was hospitalized Monday after a mountain lion attacked him while he was walking in an Orange County, California, park with his family.
A 3-year-old boy was hospitalized Monday after a mountain lion attacked him while he was walking in an Orange County, California, park with his family.Landon Wright

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

A 3-year-old boy was hospitalized Monday after a mountain lion attacked him while he was walking in an Orange County, California, park with his family.

The boy was with his family of six in Lake Forest's Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park when the lion grabbed him by the neck and dragged him, according to the Orange County Fire Authority, which got the call about the attack at about 4:15 p.m.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said the child's father threw a backpack at the animal. The mountain lion then dropped the boy and went after the backpack.

The 3-year-old was brought to a nearby hospital in stable condition, as the Orange County Sheriff's Office evacuated the park.

A statement from the Orange County Fire Authority said the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife gave approval to euthanize the animal "due to the public safety threat."