The animal attacked the boy while he was in his family’s front yard in Calabasas, leaving him with injuries to his head, neck and chest, the department said Saturday.
The mountain lion “dragged him about 45 yards” across the front lawn, said Capt. Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the department.
The boy was in stable condition, recovering from the incident, according to the department.
The boy’s mother heard the commotion from inside the house and ran outside and “started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy said.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life.”
The mountain lion was later killed by a wildlife officer.
The parents immediately drove the boy to a hospital, where law enforcement officers were notified of the attack and sent a wildlife officer to the scene.
Once at the house, the officer discovered a mountain lion crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at him, Foy said.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on site,” the wildlife department said. DNA tests later proved it was the attacking lion.
After the mountain lion was shot another appeared and was tranquilized and moved to another location. That mountain lion, found the be collared and part of a National Park Service study, was not part of the attack and has no known history of attacking humans, the department said.