Mountain Lion Still on Loose in Perris a Week Following Attack

PERRIS – A mountain lion suspected of mauling a homeless man in suburban Perris a week ago remained on the loose as hopes in capturing the wild animal dwindle, a federal official said today.

The prospect in trapping the beast appeared to be hopeful but Dan Sforza, California Department of Fish and Wildlife assistant chief, told City News Service that after a series of false sightings it remains uncertain whether officials will ever snare it.

The homeless man was attacked Feb. 1 at an encampment near Highway 74 and Navaho Road, close to a shopping center west of Interstate 215. The attack prompted fish and wildlife officials to warn nearby residents to take precautions.

”At this point, I’m not confident that we’re going to capture the animal,” Sforza said.

Sforza said he didn’t believe the mountain lion that may have attacked the 50-year-old victim is still in the area. Yet, whatever information officials receive about a possible sighting will be checked out, he said.

The victim, whose name has not been confirmed, underwent another surgery and remained hospitalized at Inland Valley Medical Center in Menifee where his condition was not immediately known. Fish and wildlife authorities still have not been able to interview him, Sforza said.

The mauling left the man with severe cuts and bites to his skull.

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