Mountain lion chews off Cayucos man’s hand
August 11, 2015
By KAREN VELIE
A large mountain lion was spotted near the mauled body of a Cayucos man Saturday evening on Hang Glider Hill near Gilbert Avenue.
Shortly after 7 p.m., several of his neighbors watched Steven Weaver, 63, walking his dog. A few hours later, Weaver’s dog returned to Gilbert Avenue alone prompting several people to mount a search.
At about 10 p.m., the neighbors spotted Weaver’s body about a quarter of the way up the Hang Glider Hill Trail. As they approached, a large animal they suspect was a mountain lion ran off.
The searchers found Weaver face down in the dirt. A portion of one of his hands appeared to be chewed off.
While they waited for first responders, the men performed CPR. Nevertheless, the popular man known for playing Santa Claus was pronounced dead at the scene.
The San Luis Obispo County Coroner’s Office has not yet determined a cause of death and has scheduled an autopsy for Wednesday. Nevertheless, the coroner’s office does not believe a wild animal killed Weaver.
Neighbors, however, question why local agencies involved at the scene – the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, the Cayucos Fire Department and Cal Fire – have not warned the public about the mountain lion near their homes and the popular hiking trail.
“Thus far, there has been no media coverage of this unusual incident, nor have local neighbors been warned of a mountain lion sighting 150 feet from their homes,” one neighbor said. “I think this is a public safety issue and emergency services should be more transparent about such things.”
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