Joel Shannon, USA TODAY
Published 7:42 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2020 | Updated 8:00 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2020
A 6-year-old girl escaped a mountain lion attack Sunday at a California state park after adults who were with her fought back and scared the animal away.
The girl was grabbed by the big cat but suffered only minor injuries, thanks to the fast action of adults, authorities say. The attack happened about 2 miles from the park’s main parking lot.
“Right about when it grabbed ahold of the girl, there was an adult there that pushed the lion away into the bushes, and it ran off,” Brad Pennington, a ranger with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, told KGO.
“She has minor injuries, a couple puncture wounds on her calf, and she was treated for minor first aid. Then, her parents took her to the hospital.”
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The Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve – located southeast of San Francisco – remains closed until further notice while authorities investigate the attack, according to a release.
The National Park Service says mountain lion attacks are rare, and the best first defense against them is to appear intimidating. Always stand and face the animal; do not run away from a mountain lion.
The NPS recommends raising and slowly waving your arms while speaking firmly and loudly. If you are wearing a jacket, open it to make yourself look larger.
If that doesn’t work, throw items like stones or branches in the animal’s direction. While unnecessarily injuring a mountain lion could land you in legal trouble, the NPS says you should fight back if you are still facing an aggressive mountain lion after attempting to scare it off.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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