4-year-old boy attacked by mountain lion in California

On Memorial Day wildlife officials responded to Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego County where a four-year-old boy sustained a non-life threatening injury after a mountain lion attack. The boy was a part of a group of 11 people that were enjoying the park at the time. Responding officials identified mountain lion tracks at the scene and, shortly thereafter, the mountain lion approached wildlife officers. The officers noted that the mountain lion appeared to have very little fear of humans, which is unusual behavior in a mountain lion. The cat was killed and forensic samples were taken in order to match the mountain lion to the victim. Officials are emphasizing that, despite the attack on the boy, mountain lion attacks are very rare in California. The last attack to take place in the state was in 2014 and it was also non-fatal.

NOAA warns gray whales are experiencing an “unusual mortality event”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that they are launching an investigation into a high number of gray whale deaths that have taken place on the west coast this year. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether disease, environmental or human factors are to blame. The deaths of the whales have been declared an “usual mortality event,” a designation defined as any unexpected and significant die-off of a group of marine mammals. Since the beginning of the year, 70 gray whale carcasses have washed ashore on the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. When whales die they usually sink, so scientists say that the whales that have washed ashore represent a small number of the deaths that are likely occurring. Although the deaths of the gray whales are alarming, scientists have emphasized that they have not yet reached a mortality rate that threatens the west coast’s entire population of gray whales.

Teen attacked by shark off NC beach, suffers major injuries

A shark bit a teenage girl on Sunday while she swam in the ocean off of Atlantic Beach, NC at Fort Macon State Park. The seventeen-year-old suffered “deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic and hand areas,” Atlantic Beach Fire Department officials said in a statement. The injured girl was flown by helicopter to the hospital where she is reported to be in good condition, though she lost a part of her leg above the knee. The girl was freed from the jaws of the shark after her father repeatedly punched the animal in the face. The teen is described as an advocate for marine life and has urged the public to continue to respect sharks in their environment. Officials are not yet sure what type of shark was involved in the attack.