News release from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department:
A 50-year-old homeless man is recovering in a hospital after allegedly being attacked by a mountain lion in Perris over the weekend.
The victim was taken to a nearby hospital Saturday morning with injuries consistent with a mountain lion attack – lacerations, puncture wounds and bite marks at the base of the skull. He had surgery Saturday night and his condition is unknown.
The attack happened off of Highway 74 west of the 215 freeway (see map), near the intersection of A Street and Metz Road. It is an area of open fields just a few blocks from residential areas.
CDFW will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the actual offending animal is destroyed. DNA samples were collected from the victim to match with the lion if it is captured. If the animal is found, it will be destroyed in the interest of public safety.
“The first priority of any law enforcement agency is the safety of the public and we are doing everything we can to find and capture this animal before it can harm anyone else,” said CDFW Assistant Chief Dan Sforza. “We are asking nearby residents to be aware there is a lion in the area and to be careful with their pets and children.”
If confirmed, this will be the 15th verified lion attack on humans in California since 1986. The last fatal attack was in January 2004 at Whiting Ranch Regional Park in Orange County. A 63-year-old man survived a lion attack in July 2012 in Nevada County.
For more information on living with wildlife: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/