California man falls off 500-foot cliff after trying to rescue dog

A 67-year-old man died after falling down a 500-foot cliff in California on Monday while trying to save his dog.

The National Park Service said the man’s dog got away from him and made its way part way down a cliff at Thornton State Beach, which is in the San Francisco area.

The man, who was not identified, ran after the dog but slipped to his death, local TV station KPIX reported.

Rescuers airlifted the body from the cliff and later helped the dog off the steep cliff. The dog was returned to the family.

Thornton State Beach is a popular spot among dog walkers in the area.

"Stay on the trails, especially I mean the ice plants will be slippery with the moisture," Rath Skallion told local TV station KGO. "That's why I can see someone slipping on the edge."

The Park Service warns people to avoid trying to save dogs by themselves. Animals are likely to survive some falls while humans may not.

“Sometimes things can move around. You gotta be careful. Always be on alert because rocks can tumble,” Tedd Leblanc, who was hiking the same day the incident occurred, told KPIX.