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Man 'severely injured' in possible mountain lion attack in California

Sacramento Bee logoSacramento Bee 12/10/2018 By Michael Mcgough, The Sacramento Bee
a brown bear sitting on a rock: A mountain lion on a rock near Yosemite National Park in California, as seen on April 24, 2006. © Moose Henderson/Dreamstime/Sacramento Bee/TNS A mountain lion on a rock near Yosemite National Park in California, as seen on April 24, 2006.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A man was severely injured in what may have been a rare mountain lion attack Sunday evening in Nevada County, Calif., state Fish and Wildlife officials said.

The victim was found near Grass Valley by passers-by and taken to the hospital by emergency personnel, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Patrick Foy said.

Foy said the incident has not been verified as a mountain lion attack, which is an "extremely rare" occurrence, but appears to involve the types of injuries associated with such an attack.

Two investigations are underway, Foy said: The Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident "the way it would investigate a mountain lion attack," and the Nevada County Sheriff's Office is investigating the possibility that the injury was human-caused.

"We are very cautious to verify a mountain lion attack until we can confirm the details," Foy said.

Fish and Wildlife officials hope to interview the victim, who has not yet been publicly identified, if and when he recovers from his injuries.

"When the doctors say he is ready, we'll go and interview him. But he's definitely not ready right now," Foy said.

Only one victim was involved in Sunday's incident, Foy said.

There have been 14 recorded mountain lion attacks on humans in California dating back to 1986, according to Fish and Wildlife records. The most recent involved a 6-year-old boy, who survived a Sept. 2014 attack in Cupertino.

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