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Man survives mountain lion attack

July 14, 2008 at 7:49 PM

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 14 (UPI) -- Officials in Palo Alto, Calif., said they were forced to shut down two parks after the city's first ever mountain lion attack on a hiker.

Officials said mountain lions have been seen Palo Alto on several occasions, but this is the first time one has attacked a person, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Monday.

Authorities brought in a tracker trained in capturing large cats after a mountain lion rushed a hiker in his 50s and knocked him down Saturday on a trail at Foothills Park.

The hiker, who received minor wounds, said the big cat plummeted at least 15 feet into a creek before fleeing the scene.

"(The cat) miscalculated the terrain and the size of the prey," Palo Alto police agent Dan Ryan said.

City officials said they shut down the park and the Enid Pearson Arastradero Preserve after a mountain lion was seen there Saturday.

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