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Gila County officials looking for mountain lion after man attacked at Salt River

Officials said the 64-year-old man was attacked on Thursday while he was with a rafting group.

GILA COUNTY, Ariz. — The image above is a stock image and not the mountain lion involved in the attack.

Gila County Animal Care and Control is searching for a mountain lion after a man was attacked at Salt River on March 16.

"The attack happened 21 miles downstream from the Salt River bridge, on the White Mountain Apace Nation – which is the north side of the Salt River, in an especially remote area,” said JC Castaneda, Animal Care & Control Program Manager for Gila County.

Officials said the animal approached a 64-year-old man and attacked him on the river’s edge.

“Our update on the victim, is that he is doing well, but still very sore from the attack," said Castaneda.

The man was part of a group of rafters when he was attacked.

About ten other rafters fought the mountain lion off the man using rafting paddles. 

Officials said animal control officers along with San Carlos Game and Fish, White Mountain Apache Tribe and Arizona Game and Fish are all responding to the situation.

Hunter are using dogs look for the mountain lion.

"The White Mountain Apace Tribe has sent a group of USDA hunters with hound dogs and have followed lion tracks from the location of the attack to another area where they are currently trying to locate the Lion,”  said Castaneda.

Anyone who sees the animal should avoid it and call Gila County Animal Care and Control at 928-425-5882.

Posted by Gila County Animal Care & Control on Friday, March 17, 2023

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