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Father throws backpack at mountain lion to save 3-year-old

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 07:51:12-05

ORANGE COUNTY, CA (KCBS/KCAL/CNN) — A 3-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion in California on Monday – and his dad used a backpack to save him.

The family was hiking when a mountain lion snatched him by the neck.

"The mountain lion came out of somewhere attacked the 3-year-old, grabbed him by the neck and started dragging him," Captain Tony Bommarito said.

The boy’s father threw a backpack at the lion, and he dropped the child, grabbed the backpack and ran up a tree.

Other hikers saw the mountain lion in the tree with a backpack and took photos.

"She had her son in her arms, the son was kind of crying and a little bit scared," one witness said.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the mountain lion had to be shot and killed in the interest of public safety.

The child was taken to the hospital.

In 2004, a mountain lion attacked two people, leaving one of them dead, at the same park in Orange County. Officials say this is just something you must be cautious of while living in the Orange County foothills.

"I make sure that my dogs don't go out, I make sure that the doggy door is closed at night,” a resident said.

The child has been discharged from the hospital. Authorities say the lion’s body has been sent out for DNA testing.