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Mountain lion mauls 6-year-old girl. Adult saves the day — by punching the deadly animal in the ribs.


Terrifying ordeal

Photo by William F. Campbell/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

A 6-year-old girl is still alive today likely thanks to an adult who stopped a 160-pound mountain lion from carrying out an attack on the child.

What are the details?

According to ABC News, the incident took place at the Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve in Cupertino, California, on Sunday morning.

The young girl, who was walking through the park with her parents and a group of other adults and children, encountered the mountain lion on a trail. The lion began mauling the child, but one of the adults intervened and began punching the lion in its ribs and stopped the attack.

Brad Pennington, Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District ranger, said that the large cat emerged from the bushes when it "grabbed a hold of the girl."

The child came away from the attack with just minor injuries, Pennington said.

"A couple puncture wounds to her calf," he said. "She was also treated for minor first aid and then her parents took her to the hospital."

The outlet reports that the unnamed child is expected to make a full recovery.

The nature preserve has been closed until further notice while officials seek out the mountain lion in question.

What else?

Cpt. Todd Tognazzini with the Department of Fish and Wildlife said that the department is planning to capture the cat.

"We will immobilize the cat and put it in a large trap," Tognazzini said, adding, that they would "take DNA samples from it so we can make sure we have the correct cat. I know that we wouldn't leave the cat here."

According to KNTV-TV, the rescuer was a friend of the child's father. Local authorities ask the public to avoid the area in order to let officials work safely and without distraction or intervention.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed at least 17 mountain lion attacks on humans since 1986.

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