California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Verified Mountain Lion Attacks on Humans in California (1986 through 2014)

The CDFW defines a mountain lion attack as an incident resulting in direct physical contact between a human and a mountain lion resulting in physical injury or death to the person. The CDFW considers an attack to be verified only when a physician, law enforcement officer or CDFW personnel determine the injuries were caused by a mountain lion.

Date Type Attack Location County Victim Sex Victim Age
March 1986 Nonfatal Caspers Wilderness Park Orange Female 5 yrs.
Oct. 1986 Nonfatal Caspers Wilderness Park Orange Male 6 yrs.
March 1992 Nonfatal Gaviota State Park Santa Barbara Male 9 yrs.
Sept. 1993 Nonfatal Cuyamaca State Park San Diego Female 10 yrs.
Apr. 1994 Fatal Auburn State Recreation Area El Dorado Female 40 yrs.
Aug. 1994 Nonfatal Mendocino County (remote) Mendocino Male 50s
Nonfatal Female 50s
Dec. 1994 Fatal Cuyamaca State Park San Diego Female 56 yrs.
Mar. 1995 Nonfatal Mt. Lowe (San Gabriel Mtns.) Los Angeles Male 27 yrs.
Jan. 2004 Fatal Whiting Ranch Regional Park Orange Male 35 yrs.
Jan. 2004 Nonfatal Whiting Ranch Regional Park Orange Female 30 yrs.
June 2004 Nonfatal Sequoia National Forest Tulare Female 28 yrs.
Jan. 2007 Nonfatal Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Humboldt Male 70 yrs.
Jul. 2012 Nonfatal Confluence of Shady Creek and Yuba River Nevada Male 63 yrs.
Sept. 2014 Nonfatal Cupertino Santa Clara Male 6 yrs.

Note: According to historical reports, four additional fatal incidents involving six victims occurred around the turn of the previous century. Furthermore, two additional incidents have been reported by the media as attacks. However, they do not fit the criteria of verifiable attacks on humans and were not confirmed. One incident involved a turkey hunter who was camouflaged and calling for turkeys when a mountain lion approached from behind. Immediately after the mountain lion confronted the hunter and realized that the hunter was not a turkey, the lion ran away. This is not judged to be an attack on a human. Every indication suggests that if the hunter had not been camouflaged and calling like a turkey, the mountain lion would have avoided him. The other incident on the Los Padres National Forest was described as a mountain lion attack on a boy near a stream. However, the alleged injuries were not verified by a physician, law enforcement officer or CDFW personnel.