The boy was rushed to a hospital after the incident at a wilderness park in Trabuco Canyon, a small community southeast of Los Angeles, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
A family of six was walking in the park when the mountain lion attacked and grabbed the child by the neck, officials said. The family's father threw a backpack at the animal and it let the boy go and instead, grabbed the bag and jumped into a tree.
A 3-year-old male was attacked by a mountain lion within Whiting Ranch around 4:15 this afternoon. The child is in stable condition at a local hospital. Dept of Fish and Wildlife gave local law enforcement the approval to euthanize the lion due to the public safety threat.— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) January 21, 2020
Law enforcement responded and found the animal in the tree. Because of what was considered a threat to public safety, the animal was killed.
The child was last listed in stable condition.
During the search, sheriff's deputies evacuated the park with assistance from a helicopter.