Hiker get's sunged at by a Mother Mountain Lion with cubs...

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  1. #1 Aug 6, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
    Oops..the title should have said "gets lunged at." I'm glad they're not going to just shoot the mountain lion. How dumb for that guy to try and pet her. He's lucky she only got in a swipe before running off.


    Mountain lion attacks Orange County hiker

    The big cat lunged at and scratched the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park hiker after he tried to pet one of its cubs, officials said. The park has been closed while the search for the cougars continues.

    By Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    August 7, 2008
    A mountain lion attacked a hiker in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park early today after he went to pet one of the cougar's three cubs, Orange County authorities said.

    The Foothills Ranch area man, whose identity was not immediately available, was taken to a hospital and treated for scratches on his arm, said Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

    "What he did is not an advisable thing to do," Amormino said. "He can consider himself an extremely lucky man."

    Signs throughout the park warn that mountain lions live in the foothill wilderness. In 2004, a mountain biker was killed and another severely injured by a cougar in Whiting Ranch. The death of Mark Reynolds, 35, of Foothill Ranch, was the first in Orange County history and the only one statewide since 1994.

    Today's attack happened about 8:30 a.m. a mile up the Borrego Trail. The hiker told authorities he came across a female lion and three cubs that he estimated were about 8 weeks old.

    "He said they seemed so cute and cuddly and passive," Amormino said.

    When he went to pet one of the cubs, the mother lunged at him -- and then ran off.

    Sheriff's deputies, park rangers, and state Fish and Game officials are searching for the cougars on foot and by air. The park has been closed for the search, and a nearby elementary school has also been placed on lockdown, meaning that no one is allowed outside.

    While mountain lions that have contact with humans "are generally put down," Amormino said he has contacted a San Diego wildlife sanctuary that has agreed to take the lion and her cubs if they can be tranquilized and caught.
  2. Ugh- what a freaking moron. The cubs looked passive and cuddly? They're MOUNTAIN LIONS! Because if his stupid actions and the mother's natural instinct to protect her babies- they have to be either put down or tranqualized and taken elsewhere . . .
  3. dumb move on his part
  4. How dumb can you be to do that! it was all his fault. I hope he learned his lesson.
  5. Report of mountain lion attack may have been false

    Updated 4:30 p.m.: Man said he was scratched by animal in Whiting Ranch, but authorities find problems with story.

    FOOTHILL RANCH – A man told authorities he walked away with only a scratch after trying to pet a mountain lion cub in Whiting Ranch Wednesday, but the wound on his right arm was likely not made by a mountain lion, officials said.
    The man, identified as Kevin Lassiter, a 47-year-old man from Foothill Ranch, told authorities he spotted three mountain lion cubs at about 8:30 a.m. as he was walking through the park. Assuming that the cubs would not be dangerous because of their small size, he told deputies he walked toward them and tried to pet one of them, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
    “He said he thought they were cute,” Amormino said.
    Lassiter said he didn't see the mother of the cubs standing nearby. The mother allegedly swiped at the man with its paw, then ran off.
    “If it did happen, he's the luckiest man in the world,” Amormino said.
    Students at nearby Foothill Ranch Elementary were placed under lockdown and the park was closed after the alleged attack. Using a helicopter and foot patrols, authorities from three agencies searched for three cubs and a mother for almost five hours in the park with no success.
    After reviewing a picture of the wound, a wildlife forensic pathologist with the Department of Fish and Game determined that the wound on the man's arm was likely not caused by a mountain lion.
    “It is not consistent with injuries from lion attacks we have seen in the past,” said Jeff Rodzen, senior wildlife forensic specialist with the Department of Fish and Game.
    “We're qualifying this as an alleged attack until we can substantiate it,” said Harry Morse, information officer for the Department of Fish and Game.
    According to the Department of Fish and Game, mountain lion sightings are rare, but encounters with baby cubs are rarer still. According to the state agency's Web site, a person is one thousand times more likely to be struck by lighting than attacked by a mountain lion.
    Officials said they found several inconsistencies in the man's story, but the wound on the hand did not have the characteristics of a mountain lion attack.
    “It's a very odd set of circumstances,” Morse said.
    If the man if found to have filed a false report, sheriff's officials will look to prosecute him, Amormino said.
    Officials from the county's animal control will also be reviewing the wound to continue the investigation, he said.
    Officials with the Department of Fish and Game review pictures of wounds and take DNA samples to verify reports of attacks. Although the state agency does not record the number of false reports filed, it does happen sometimes, Morse said. The agency does not record incidents as an actual attack until physical evidence proves it.
    Three weeks ago, a wild animal attack in the Bay area was found to be false, he said.
    In cases where a wild animal, such as a mountain lion, is found to have attacked a human, the state agency considers it a public risk and the animal is destroyed. DNA evidence is also used to make sure the correct animal is destroyed, Morse said.
    Residents and park rangers had reported sightings of three cubs recently, but they went unseen during the search, Amormino said. Mountain lion tracks were found in the area but it was unknown how recently they were made.
  6. say what? somethings not right here. that mother would never have let him get that close...and then she would have killed him for sure. theres gotta be more to this. this just doesn't make sense.

  7. well there you go. nevermind.

    the mother would not have just taken a "swipe" and then ran away leaving her cubs. thats just ludicrous.:nogood:
  8. Yes, experts have weighed in and said that his "marks" are not consistant with what would be expected from a mountain lion.
  9. I'm guessing his gf and him had a "spat". maybe he buried her somewhere! :shocked:
  10. Stupid moron! How dare he out those beautiful creatures at risk by making up this story!
  11. This man has a negative IQ. No one in the right mind would pet a wild cub and right in front of the mother!
  12. Well, if the story is true, I nominate him for the Darwin Awards, in the "Didn't Die" category, LOL!
  13. yes, if he had suffered a fatal blow, it would have been natural selection at its finest.
  14. What an f-ing idiot.