DNA Confirmation on Mountain Lion

Media Contacts:
Patrick Foy, CDFW Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed forensics testing of the mountain lion killed by wildlife officials in Cupertino on Wednesday, Sept. 10. Test results from the department’s Wildlife Forensics Lab confirmed this was the same lion that attacked a six-year-old boy on Sunday, Sept. 7. The animal also tested negative for rabies through the UC Davis California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory.

DNA testing was necessary to confirm the lion dispatched by authorities was indeed the one they sought. Mountain lion saliva samples gathered from the boy’s shirt after the attack were a perfect match to the DNA taken from the lion.

The male cat was 74 pounds, about two years old and healthy.

From a long-time criminal defense attorney … This is fascinating. DNA testing in criminal cases, where time is of the essence, takes usually two weeks or more. Maybe criminalists should be sending their DNA tests to the CDFW?

5 thoughts on “DNA Confirmation on Mountain Lion

  1. Good to see it was THE mountain lion and the young boy is recovering. Not to go off topic, but I saw the post from that black bear study from last year. I’m almost certain I found black bear scat up on the Cruickshank Trail last September 2013. I see it all the time up in NH where I do most of my backpacking and was a bit surprised to see it on the coast.

  2. No, they have to cut the head off the animal to confirm rabies, which is why if you have a pet that is suspected of being bitten, it needs to be quarantined for so many weeks.

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