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Park closes in search for animal that attacked child

Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve in Cupertino will be closed temporarily after a child was injured by an animal – suspected to be a mountain lion – while walking with others on a park trail, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District officials said Sunday.

The injuries to the child were minor, and the child was treated on-scene, Midpen spokeswoman Leigh Ann Gessner said Sunday afternoon.

The encounter took place about 10 a.m. Sunday on a trail about two miles from the preserve’s main parking area. The child, whose gender and age were not provided, was with family members when the attack occurred, Gessner said. Adult family members scared the animal away.

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies and Santa Clara County Fire paramedics responded.

Kwong Yee Cheng/Flickr An animal, possibly a mountain lion, attacked a child in the Rancho San Antonio County Park Sunday, February 16, 2020.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, with help from Midpen rangers, are investigating the incident and working to locate and positively identify the animal. The preserve will be closed until the investigation is finished and will reopen when Midpen officials determine it is safe to do so, Gessner said.

Mountain lions live throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains. They generally are not a threat to people, and encounters like Sunday’s are unusual, rangers said. Nevertheless, park visitors should remain vigilant when in mountain lion territory.

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