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DNA results provide positive ID in mountain lion attack on 8-year-old boy

Mountain Lion on trail cam near Bailey
Posted at 3:32 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 13:51:57-04

DENVER — Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced Monday that DNA test results have confirmed that the mountain lion who attacked a young boy in Bailey last week was one removed from the area by wildlife officers a day after the attack.

The attack happened around 7:30 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 21st and left the eight-year-old with serious injuries.

The next day, wildlife officers were in the area searching for the cat and found two lions had killed and started feeding on a domestic goat, CPW said. Federal Wildlife Services officials euthanized the two lions seen at the goat carcass.

The two lions were in close proximity to the attack site and fit the description of the attacking lion so CPW submitted DNA samples from both animals for analysis.

According to CPW, the University of Wyoming Forensics Lab confirmed that tissue samples from one of those two lions matched hair samples taken off the neck and chest of the boy who was attacked. They also matched hair samples taken off the shirt of the father of the boy, as well as hair collected at the scene of the attack.

“It is reassuring to know that the mountain lion from both the attack and depredation of the goat was removed from the area,” said Area Wildlife Manager Mark Lamb. “This male juvenile mountain lion was not only a threat to human safety, but obviously to livestock and pets as well. We had clear signs that both of these male mountain lions were feeding well in the area, so there was no reason to believe that they would travel elsewhere out of that community any time soon.”

In their release on the findings, CPW said the DNA tests run by the Universtiy of Wyoming Forensics Lab are the same tests that would be run by the FBI or CBI on humans, just looking for different primers for wildlife. They added that the lab is an internationally accredited lab that specializes in wildlife with state of the art technology.

Monday morning, the Platte Canyon Fire Protection District released the following statement with permission from the boy's family.

“Our young patient had his second surgery yesterday, he continues to persevere and remain brave while healing,” the statement read. “Your ongoing thoughts, prayers and support are appreciated.”


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