CUPERTINO, Calif. (KGO) -- On Wednesday the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a photo they found of a mountain lion's paw print in the dirt. They have been tracking a mountain lion that attacked a 6-year-old boy on Sunday in Cupertino. Now, officials say they have captured and killed the mountain lion believed to be responsible for the attack.
Around 9 a.m. Wednesday search dogs picked up fresh tracks of the mountain lion and followed it for about 90 minutes through the dense forest near the Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve. Just 130 yards from where the child was attacked, dogs cased the big cat up a tree.
Wildlife officers say the mountain lion became very aggressive, looking into the eyes of a warden, and preparing to pounce at that warden. It was then at that point that they made the decision to euthanize the cat.
Initially, they had set out traps, hoping to catch the cat alive, but that did not work.
They say they are as certain as they can be that the 65 pound, male mountain lion they shot and killed was the one that mauled a 6-year-old, but they are going to have to wait until they get DNA tests to confirm.
"It's been very harrowing. Cats don't move in a linear motion. They go back and forth and crisscross over each other, so it has at times felt like a wild goose chase over the last few days and we weren't entirely sure we were going to get it, but these are professionals, these dogs are very good at what they do and we had a wonderful team here of many agencies working together and all of us cared very much about getting this cat," Kirsten MacIntyre from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
The carcass was taken to Sacramento where there's a wildlife center and that carcass will be tested for rabies. Those tests should come back as early as Friday.
At Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve the trails are still closed, but they expect them to reopen in the next couple of days.
Authorities capture mountain lion that attacked boy in Cupertino