Mountain lion chews off Cayucos man’s hand

August 11, 2015
Steven Weaver

Steven Weaver


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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My understanding is that the Sheriff has issued a press release and it was not an animal attack. Hence why they probably never posted. Well maybe the hysteria on this can die down and we can move onto something else.

I beg anyone posting their opinion here to be respectful. Steve Weaver was a great man, he passed way too early, and he leaves behind a wife and daughter. Think of them before digging into your pointless debates about what happened.

Cayucos is a tight community and I have personally warned our neighbors about the mountain lion. Everyone is aware, no need to post warnings. Can’t say I am pleased with how this article was worded. I wish writers would think of family and friends rather than catchy gruesome titles.

I would like Steve to be remembered for how amazing and kind he was, not the fact that his lifeless body was disturbed by an animal. That was simply unfortunate and really no ones business.

Wish I had known Steve. All of us need to know more like him.

Yes, it is very sad for Steve’s family. My comment was to remain objective and avoid a senseless lion hunt. All of us older people do need to think about walking off alone becuase we do have heart attacks, strokes and or are in the food chain. Steve’s situtation, as sad as it is, has served many by bringing into light the possiblities we don’t think about. People do just drop until someone or something finds them. If it happens to me, my belt buckle has the Eagle circled with “The United States Of America”.

Last I heard mountain lions have no obligation to report their presence. Since they deal in stealth, you will be much safer if you treat every day as if they are out there. They are…

trusting public notices only gives you a false sense of security.

It’s almost certain bodily damage such as described (“A portion of one of his hands appeared to be chewed off.”) was almost certainly not caused by a mountain lion.

Think about it folks. Lions are large creatures with large mouths. Why would one chew on a bony hand when it had copious amounts of more tasty flesh in more fleshy parts of the body? Why would a lion nibble on a hand rather than just bite it off? This surely sounds like some smaller animal’s contribution to nature’s recycling regime.

That so much attention here focuses on the evil lion chewing on a hand says more about our prejudices than our thoughtful abilities.

Thank you, hijinks, for your voice of reason.