The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has confirmed a mountain lion attacked a 63-year-old man who was camping northwest of Nevada City. The attack occurred in the early morning hours of July 1.
The man was traveling through Nevada County on a planned hiking trip and decided to stop for the night to sleep. He laid a sleeping bag out along a tributary to the Yuba River. Approximately 1 a.m. he was attacked in his sleeping bag for what he reported to be between 1 ½ to 2 minutes. He said the animal attacked, bit and clawed him through his sleeping bag. He said it bit through the cap he was wearing and his clothes. The animal ceased the attack, looked at him from 15 feet away for another 15-30 seconds, then ran into the night. The man drove himself to a hospital in Grass Valley where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and later released.
DFG wardens responded to the hospital and verified that he had suffered severe scratches and puncture wounds. They collected several articles of clothing and his sleeping bag, which were analyzed at DFG’s Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento. Wardens also responded to the attack scene where they found lion tracks. Specially trained dogs attempted to track the lion but were not successful. They also found the remains of one domestic cat with injuries consistent with a lion attack. The effort to find the lion continues.
California has now had 15 confirmed mountain lion attacks since 1890. A summary of previous mountain lion attacks in California can be found at
For more information about how people and lions can coexist, please see http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/lion.html.
Representatives from DFG will be available for comment in front of the Natural Resources Agency building at 1416 9th Street in Sacramento at 1 p.m.
Warden Patrick Foy, DFG Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
Mike Taugher, DFG Communications, (916) 591-0140