The curious case of the cougar attack


Ever been attacked by a mountain lion and lived to talk about it?

Me neither.

And that’s not to say that I might not possess the abilities to fend off a large wild cat. But if I walked up to someone and nonchalantly said: “Oh hey, how are you, I just got mauled by a mountain lion.” I don’t think anyone would believe me.

That’s exactly the attitude that Los Gatos police are taking when dealing with an 18-year-old bicyclist who claims that he was attacked Wednesday evening.

Police responded to a call Wednesday about someone on the Heinz Open Space Park trail that was carrying a knife. When police found the bicyclist at a trailhead, he showed them a couple of scratches on his arm and went into an elaborate account of how he was riding his bike and came across a cougar. He told police he then tried to call his girlfriend to tell her about it, but a mountain lion crept up from behind and swiped him in the arm.

Wow, that’s a mouthful.

Now, this isn’t to say there aren’t mountain lions up in the Los Gatos hills. There have most certainly been sightings before in that area.

But the Department of Fish and Game concluded that there were no signs in the area of mountain lion activity, although police have advised residents to be aware of their surroundings, just in case.

And what about the lion-fighting bicyclist?

Investigators concluded that the scratches on his arm “were not of the sort that would be inflicted by a mountain lion.”

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