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A man who survived a California mountain lion attack that killed his brother is expected to recover

GEORGETOWN, Calif. (AP) — An 18-year-old Northern California man who survived a mountain lion attack that killed his older brother is expected to recover, authorities said Sunday.

The 21-year-old's death on Saturday in a remote area northeast of Sacramento was the first fatal encounter with a cougar in the state in two decades.

The younger man called the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, reporting that he and his brother had been attacked while hunting for shed antlers near Georgetown, the office said in a statement Saturday.

Deputies arrived around 1:30 p.m. to find the younger man with facial injuries. Minutes later, they saw a crouched mountain lion next to the older brother on the ground, according to the statement.

The deputies fired their guns and scared off the big cat. The older brother died at the scene.

The surviving brother “has undergone multiple surgeries for his injuries and is expected to make a full recovery,” the sheriff's office said Sunday. “The family is grateful for the prayers and condolences from the community however wishes for privacy in order to process this tragic event."

California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife said its wardens found the cougar and euthanized it.

“The mountain lion has been sent to the CDFW forensics laboratory to obtain DNA information and general health of the lion,” the department said on X.

Georgetown is a small, historic town about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of the state capital.

Mountain lions have attacked humans previously, but the last fatal encounter was in 2004 in Orange County, according to a verified list kept by the Fish and Wildlife Department.