Experts ID suspected mountain lion cub who attacked Bay Area boy, don't believe it's vicious

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Friday, February 3, 2023
Experts don't believe mountain lion cub who attacked boy is vicious
"We are going to give our son all the love and care he needs, and then when he is absolutely ready, we'll start hiking again because that is what we do," 5-year-old Jack's dad said after the mountain lion attack.

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- As a resilient boy is recovering from a serious mountain lion attack earlier this week in an unincorporated area of San Mateo County, video from last year may show the cat involved.

Video provided by the Bay Area Puma Project shows a mountain lion family last year, and one of the cubs is thought to be the one that attacked five-year-old Jack.

The group believes the cub reacted because it was startled by the boy and they do not believe the cub is vicious. Jack's family also thinks the mountain lion was probably surprised by the boy.

RELATED: Mom saves son after 'unprovoked' and 'vicious' mountain lion attack in San Mateo Co., officials say

Jack is now out of the hospital and recovering.

According to his family, Jack was pretty bruised and beaten up overall. The sheriff says the boy has puncture wounds and the Department of Fish and Wildlife says the cougar was chewing on him.

"He has a lot of lacerations, bruising especially on his face. He has one fracture near his eye. His eye is really swollen. He's all stitched up," Amie Wagner, Jack's aunt.

Jack's father Jay Trexler says that since the attack the swelling in his eye is going down.

MORE: What to do if you come face-to-face with a mountain lion

On Tuesday night, Jack was walking with his mom and grandpa near Tunitas Creek Road Tuesday night when he was attacked by a mountain lion.

"Jack, being the little ball of energy that he is, got a little ahead of his mom and grandparents and must have frightened the mountain lion. Fortunately, it was a juvenile," said Wagner.

"It was a pretty vicious attack. It took him to the ground and apparently was described as biting into this young child. The mom lunged at the mountain lion and before making contact with it, the lion let her son go," said Captain Patrick Foy.

Jay Trexler put out a statement saying his wife is the bravest woman he knows and says that Jack will be back to hiking once recovered.

"We are going to give our son all the love and care he needs, and then when he is absolutely ready, we'll start hiking again because that is what we do," he said in the statement. "We are an outdoor-loving family, and this experience will not take that away from us. I think it's important to not be afraid of mountain lions but to take care and be alert when you are in their habitat."

MORE: Oakland Zoo responds after police defend fatal shooting of mountain lion

Jack's aunt set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with all the medical bills.

She says Jack's parents manage an organic farm and everything they produce goes to serve people who are experiencing homelessness.

"I know it takes both of Jack's parents working very hard every day to keep the farm running. And they're going to need some extra support as they focus on his recovery," said Wagner.

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