Rare fatal mountain lion attack El Dorado County 23rd March 2024

Fatal mountain lion (puma) attacks on people – often hikers in the beautiful American countryside – are very rare. But sometimes the cat is totally committed to the attack and cannot be scared off using the usual well-known techniques. This story is one such case.

Mountain lion looking majestic
Mountain lion looking majestic
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The sad story of a recent fatal mountain lion attack

The story concerns two brothers who were hunting for ‘shed antlers’ in a remote area northeast of Sacramento. The brothers are 21-year-old Taylen and Robert Claude Brooks and Wyatt Jade Charles Brooks, 18. They noticed a mountain lion along the edge of a dirt road in El Dorado County.

They were taught, like a lot of people, to try and scare away the puma by making themselves look larger than they are and making a noise. They threw a backpack at the puma as well. It didn’t work. The cougar charged at them.

It took the younger brother, Wyatt, to the ground by his face we are told. Taylen did his best to force the cat to release his brother by beating it and yelling.

Wyatt wrestled with the mountain lion while it clawed at his stomach. The mountain lion released Wyatt, and charged at Taylen biting his throat and forcing the man to the ground.

His brother tried to force the cat off him without success. He ran to their car and called emergency services.

That is the story. It appears that the bite to the neck was the fatal injury.

How many fatal mountain attacks on humans have there been since records began?

The statistics on fatal mountain lion attacks in North America, which are often documented, indicate that there have been 27 fatal attacks in the past 100 years. It’s important to note that these numbers are specific to North America and may not encompass global statistics.

The puma lives in South America too but the data on fatal mountain lion attacks in South America is not as readily available or documented as it is for North America. However, mountain lions, also known as cougars, pumas, or panthers, are native to the Americas, and their interactions with humans can occasionally lead to attacks.

Fierce cougar
Fierce cougar

For specific statistics on South America, it would require a detailed search through local records and studies, as this information is not as centralized or consistently reported as in North America. If you’re looking for detailed statistics, I would recommend consulting wildlife experts or research databases that focus on the region’s wildlife-human interactions.

Fatal mountain lion attacks are quite rare and occur much less frequently than other types of fatal wildlife encounters. For instance, the recent tragic incident in California was the state’s first fatal mountain lion attack in 20 years.

For a comprehensive global count, it would require extensive research across various regions and databases, as records might be kept differently in each area and over different periods.

How should a hiker avoid being attacked by a mountain lion?

To avoid a mountain lion attack while hiking, here are some key tips:

  • Stay Calm: If you see a mountain lion, maintain your composure and do not run. Running may trigger the lion’s instinct to chase.
  • Appear Larger: Make yourself look bigger by raising your arms, opening your jacket, or waving sticks or other objects.
  • Make Noise: Be loud to deter the mountain lion. You can use an air horn or your voice to scare it away.
  • Do Not Approach: Give the mountain lion space to escape. Do not corner or provoke the animal.
  • Protect Children and Pets: Keep children close and pick them up if necessary. Keep pets on a leash and close to you.
  • Fight Back if Attacked: Use any weapons you have, like trekking poles, or fight back with rocks, sticks, or your bare hands. Aim for the face and eyes.

Remember, mountain lion attacks are extremely rare, and they usually try to avoid humans. Being aware of your surroundings and making noise to alert wildlife of your presence is generally a good practice in the wilderness.

Sources include: Hiking Guy, Jason Explorer, NPS, Hike Daily.

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo