Mountain lion kills man, mauls brother in Northern California attack

An 18-year-old suffered traumatic injuries to his face, and his older brother was killed in a mountain lion attack in Georgetown, California. Wildlife officials said the big cat was euthanized near the scene of the attack, and its body was sent to the laboratory for testing.

GEORGETOWN, Ca. – A 21-year-old man was killed Saturday, and another man was injured in a rare mountain lion attack in Northern California, according to law enforcement and wildlife officials.

The deadly mountain lion attack happened in Georgetown, California, a remote town in El Dorado County about an hour northeast of Sacramento

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said it received a 911 call after 1 p.m. local time on Saturday from an 18-year-old man who said a mountain lion near Darling Ridge and Skid roads attacked him and his 21-year-old brother.

The 18-year-old suffered "traumatic injuries to his face and was separated from his brother during the attack," deputies said. 

While paramedics began to help the victim, deputies searched the area for the 21-year-old. About a half-hour after the 911 call was placed, deputies said they discovered the big cat crouched next to the victim. 


"The mountain lion was between the Deputies and the subject on the ground," the sheriff's office said. "Deputies discharged their firearms, scaring the mountain lion off so they could render aid. Unfortunately, the male subject was deceased."

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) said the mountain lion was euthanized near the scene of the attack. The lion was sent to the CDFW forensics laboratory for analysis.

Mountain lion attacks are rare, according to the Mountain Lion Foundation. The big cats typically avoid humans, but those who live and work in big cat country should be alert during dusk and dawn, when mountain lions are most active, according to the nonprofit.

Estimates for the current population of mountain lions in California are around 4,000 to 6,000. Estimating the population of the elusive mountain lion is difficult because of the animal's large and diverse habitat throughout California. 

An adult male mountain lion can weigh up to 170 pounds, according to CDFW.

Last year, a mother and her 5-year-old son in Half Moon Bay, California, were attacked by a mountain lion. The mother and son suffered injuries but were able to fight off the animal.