A small mountain lion mauled a Santa Monica woman who was hiking Saturday in the Johnsondale Bridge area of the Sequoia National Forest, north of Kernville, the California Department of Fish and Game said Sunday.
Emergency workers transported Shannon Parker, 27, to the University of California-Los Angeles Medical Center Sunday morning, and she was treated for injuries to her eyes and deep lacerations in her right thigh, said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the California agency. At the family's request, a hospital spokeswoman would not release details about Parker's condition.
Parker was hiking at 7 p.m. Saturday, about 15 to 20 miles north of Kernville, with her boyfriend, Mathias D. Maciejewski, 28, and two friends, Jason Quirino, 30, and Ben Aaron Marsh, 15, Martarano said.
She broke away from the group to retrieve a pair of sunglasses from a vehicle, which was parked nearby. A few minutes later, her hiking partners heard screams. They found Parker struggling with the 60- to 70-pound lion. One of the men stabbed it several times with a knife, and they threw rocks at it, Martarano said. Injured and bloody, the cougar let go of Parker and left the scene. Parker's friends were not hurt, and the lion was later found and killed.
This was the 15th reported lion attack in California since 1890, Martarano said. Six of those victims were killed. The most recent lion attack occurred in January in Orange County's Santa Ana Mountains, where a man was killed while repairing his bike in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. The man was found partially eaten. Another mountain biker also was attacked by the lion but survived. People have spotted the wild animals in recent months in Los Angeles' Griffith Park and the Oak Canyon Community Park in Ventura County