Child Injured by Mountain Lion at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve: Officials

The mountain lion was found and dispatched, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife

Blue Sky ecological reserve closed poway

Poway's Blue Sky Ecological Reserve was closed Friday after a child was reportedly attacked by a mountain lion.

A 4-year-old boy was walking in the reserve with his family around 2:40 p.m. when he was attacked by a mountain lion, according to Tim Daly with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"A lion matching the description given by the family members was located near the site of the attack and was dispatched due to public safety concerns," he said. "Because of its proximity, CDFW believes this lion was responsible for the attack."

The boy was with family members but separated from the group when he was scratched on his back and thigh, according to Daly. The injuries were minor and he is expected to fully recover.

The animal was previously described as about 3 feet tall and around 6 feet in length.

"Mountain lions don’t generally choose to engage with us," Daly said. "We’re not their target, we’re not their next meal. There have been times that small children, because they almost look like a small animal in size, and they may be more vulnerable. That’s apparently what happened today."

Though mountain lion attacks on humans are very rare, CDFW advises taking these extra steps to ensure safety when taking advantage of the state’s many enjoyable hikes and other outdoor experiences:

  • Do not hike, bike or jog alone. Stay alert on trails.
  • Avoid hiking when mountain lions are most active – dawn, dusk and at night.
  • Keep children and small animals as close to large adults as possible.
  • Never approach a mountain lion. Do not run and stay calm. Be vocal.

The reserve reopened Saturday.

NBC 7's Niala Charles shared his thoughts on what kind of animal could be responsible.
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