DNA is a Match in Fatal Mountain Lion Attack in El Dorado County

Sacramento, CA…The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed that the mountain lion euthanized in a remote area near Georgetown was the same animal involved in a fatal attack earlier in the day. CDFW’s Wildlife Forensics Laboratory determined today that DNA samples collected from the scene match samples taken from the lion carcass. The male mountain lion weighed approximately 90 pounds and appeared to be in healthy condition.

On March 23, 2024, CDFW wildlife officers responded to a reported mountain lion attack involving 18 and 21-year-old brothers. The men had been antler shed hunting in a remote area near Georgetown in El Dorado County when they were attacked. The younger brother sustained injuries but was able to call 911; the older brother was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. In the interest of public safety, CDFW authorized a professional trapper, who was able to locate and euthanize the mountain lion within a few hours of the incident.

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to the families and loved ones affected by this tragic incident. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham.

Mountain lion encounters are uncommon in California but do occasionally occur. Most of the state is suitable mountain lion habitat. However, this is the first confirmed fatality from a mountain lion attack in California since 2004. CDFW will remain in close coordination with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office as standard pathology and other assessments of the lion are completed. Forensic scientists will continue analyzing necropsy results to determine whether there were underlying health conditions related to this particular animal.

Learn more: Mountain Lions in California.