Eastern Sierra Mono County Mt. Lion Encounter
On Feb 24 2017 at approximately 1500 hours a hunter who had been hunting near the north shore of Mono Lake for coyotes had a mountain lion encounter.
The hunter was wearing camouflage clothing lying on his stomach on top of a small knoll blowing on a distressed rabbit call when he heard a noise behind him. As the hunter looked over his shoulder he saw a mountain lion had jumped in the air and was coming toward his head.
While lying on the ground the hunter threw up his arms in order to protect his head. The lion landed on the hunter’s head, sprung free and ran towards the north. The hunter, being in fear for his life fired two shots striking the lion. He returned to his vehicle and notified DFW Officers.
The hunter sustained a minor injury to the back left side of his head that did not break skin. The hunter sought medical treatment from Mammoth Lakes Hospital and initiated the rabies shot series.
Evidence from the scene was collected and sent to DFW’s Wildlife Investigations Lab in Sacramento. The lion will be necropsied and tested for zoological diseases including rabies.
An analysis of the tracks found at the scene of the incident left a very clear picture of the event and how it unfolded. It appeared the lion was responding to the distressed rabbit call and the encounter resulted in the hunter possibly being mistaken for prey by the lion.
Given the circumstances, the lion likely mistook the hunter for an injured rabbit and given the suddenness of the attack the hunter responded in fear for his life. The Department will not be filing any charges for the take of the mountain lion.
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