Mountain lion kills one, leaves another injured in rare attack

A mountain lion on a rock
The two brothers were hunting in a remote area of California when the mountain lion pounced (Image credit: Kevin Schafer)

A rare mountain lion attack in a remote area of northern California has left one man dead and another injured, according to the local Sheriff's department, which reveals that the two brothers were hunting when the attack took place. The incident occurred just five months after a California hiker was injured while defending their dog from a mountain lion attack.

In a Facebook post, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office reports it received a 911 call from an 18-year-old male at 1:13 p.m. on Sunday, who said that he and his 21-year-old brother had been attacked by the animal in rural Georgetown, northeast of Sacramento.

"The reporting party suffered traumatic injuries to his face and was separated from his brother during the attack."

 At 1:34 p.m., emergency responders arrived in the area where they located the 18-year-old and began to administer aid to him, while additional deputies began the search for the brother, whose whereabouts were unknown. Just over 10 minutes later, they found him and the animal.

"Deputies observed a crouched mountain lion next to a subject on the ground. The mountain lion was between the Deputies and the subject on the ground. Deputies discharged their firearms scaring the mountain lion off so they could render aid."

Unfortunately, the man was already deceased when officials found him. Wardens and trappers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife later located the mountain lion and dispatched it.

Mountain Lion on Tree Stump

Wardens and trappers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife later located the mountain lion and dispatched it (Image credit: John Conrad)

Mountain lion safety

Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare, but they do happen. In February, we reported on a snowboarder who fended off a starving mountain lion in Utah. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has only reported 13 mountain lion attacks in the state since 2004, and this is only the second fatal incident.

However, it's important to be mindful any time you are hiking or recreating in mountain lion country. In the unlikely event that you do encounter one, back up slowly and make yourself appear big. You can make noise and wave your trekking poles, throw stones or whatever it takes to get the animal to retreat. Learn more in our article on what to do if you meet a mountain lion on the trail.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.