News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Mountain Lion Attack in Foothills Park
Contact : Agent Dan Ryan    408-406-1330
Palo Alto, CA -- Police received a report on Sunday, July 13, of an apparent mountain lion attack that occurred on Saturday, July 12, along the northwest edge of Foothills Park. A 50 year-old male was hiking alone on a ridge trail above Los Trancos Creek when he was pushed from behind. The victim rolled down the slope approximately 15 feet and his tumble was stopped by a tree. As he looked around to see what had caused his fall, he saw that a mountain lion had tumbled down below him and fallen into the creek. The cat scampered away with no further attack.

A second caller reported possibly seeing a mountain lion on a trail in the Enid Pearson Arastradero Preserve, also Saturday afternoon; the caller was unsure if the animal was a dog or a lion.

Experts were consulted from the California Department of Fish and Game and from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife; both experts confirm the serious nature of the attack in Foothills Park. City Manager Frank Benest ordered that both the Foothills Park and the Enid Pearson Arastradero Preserve be closed temporarily, in the interests of public safety. Park Officials will consult with a tracker Sunday evening in an attempt to locate the animal. 

This is the first confirmed attack against humans in Palo Alto and it is believed that the lion was an adolescent who may have misjudged his quarry. The park rangers advise hikers to walk in groups and if you encounters a mountain lion, try to appear as large and make as much noise as possible.