Chilling footage shows a mountain lion clinging to the backpack of a three-year-old boy moments after grabbing the child by the neck and dragging him along the ground.
The predator can be seen up a tree holding the black bag after the child’s horrified father threw it at the mountain lion in a bid to distract it, US news outlet KTLA reported.
The attack happened about 4.15pm (local time) on Monday in California’s Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, 80km southeast of Los Angeles.
Orange County Fire Authority Captain Tony Bommarito told reporters the boy’s terrified family fled the scene before alerting authorities.
The boy was rushed to hospital in a stable condition.
Rangers hunted down the mountain lion before finding it up the tree.
It was later euthanised after the park was evacuated.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park sprawls over 1000 hectares of canyons and grasslands in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains.
In 2004, a mountain lion killed a lone cyclist in the park and hours later mauled another passing cyclist who survived.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.