California mom saves son, 5, from mountain lion attack using bare hands

CALABASAS, Calif. — A California woman is being heralded an “absolute hero” by wildlife officials after fending off a mountain lion that attacked her son in the family’s yard on Thursday.

“This mom’s an absolute hero who saved her son’s life. There’s no question about it,” Capt. Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told KCAL.

>> Read more trending news

According to KABC, the 65-pound mountain lion was shot and killed by a wildlife officer after attacking the 5-year-old boy, dragging him nearly 45 yards.

“The commotion caused by the attack and the boy’s screaming alerted the mom who was inside. She ran outside and immediately started striking and punching at the lion and managed to fend the lion off her son,” Foy told KCAL.

The boy, who was rushed to an area hospital but is expected to recover, suffered wounds to his head, neck and upper torso before his mother intervened, KABC reported.

The responding wildlife officer found the “aggressive” animal crouched in the corner of the family’s yard and fatally shot the animal, the TV station reported.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion,”' the agency said in a prepared statement. Lab tests later confirmed the warden’s suspicion, KABC reported.

According to KCAL, the attack marks the first on a human by a mountain lion in the Santa Monica mountains in more than 20 years.

A second mountain lion spotted in the area was tranquilized and tested to ensure that it was not involved in the attack. The animal was released back into the wild unharmed after DNA tests confirmed no involvement with the attack on the child, the TV station confirmed.