Mountain lion in attack on 5-year-old in Half Moon Bay won't be removed from wild

A mountain lion that attacked a 5-year-old boy in unincorporated Half Moon Bay won't be removed from the wild, according to state wildlife officials.

Since Tuesday's attack, wildlife officers have been denied access to the private property where the incident occurred. Officers had hoped to try and capture the offending mountain lion, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

"This lack of access, combined with worsening weather and the nomadic nature of mountain lions has diminished the chances for a successful capture of the offending mountain lion," the department said in a tweet. 

The young boy, named Jack, was out walking with his mother and grandfather Tuesday night, not far from his family's farm on the 100 block of Tunitas Creek Road.

The boy had raced ahead of his mother and grandfather when the big cat pounced on him and pinned him to the ground, said Capt. Patrick Foy, a spokesman with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"The little boy was pretty viciously attacked," said Foy.

San Mateo County authorities said the boy had puncture wounds from the attack. 

His aunt, Amie Wagner, said the mountain lion and latched on to Jack's face, and he and his mother "bravely fought off" the puma.

Foy said the animal let go after the boy's mother charged at it.

But the animal's puncture wounds left Jack with some "battle wounds in the process," Wagner said.

He sustained cuts all over his face and a fracture near one eye, his aunt said.

He was taken to Stanford Medical Center Tuesday and later released. 

Mountain lion attacks on humans are rare. About 20 confirmed attacks have occurred in California in more than a century of record-keeping, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.