Trappers scour Texas park after mountain lion attack

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 07, 2012 5:48 PM
Trappers scour Texas park after mountain lion attack

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - The National Park Service on Tuesday was scouring the sprawling Big Bend National Park in West Texas following the first mountain lion attack on a person in the park in nine years.

On Sunday, what is believed to be a young male mountain lion attacked a 6-year-old boy from Central Texas who was camping in a remote part of the park with his family, according to park spokesman David Elkowitz.

"The boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries to his face, and the father managed to fight off the lion," Elkowitz said.

He said there are about two dozen lions in the park, and that this is the first time since 2003 that a lion has attacked a human there.

Elkowitz said that the area where the attack happened has been evacuated, and that park visitors are being warned to be on guard while a trained lion hunter, a dog team and park employees scour Big Bend for the lion.

"We are using every means at our disposal," Elkowitz said.

He said rangers don't know what prompted the lion to attack the boy.

Big Bend National Park is an 801,000-acre wilderness along the Rio Grande that is known for stunning views and prehistoric relics.

(Reporting By Jim Forsyth; Editing by Corrie MacLaggan)