Cool Cat Kills Pony says Department of Fish and Wildlife

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 13, 2016 / comments

400-pound pony found dead in community of Auburn Lake Trails.  California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden later determined that it was a mountain lion.

[Image -- Big Cats On Prowl in Georgetown: Tami Sutton posted this picture on "‎What's happening on the Divide?" a facebook website dedicated to events and happenings on the Georgetown Divide.]

The 400-pound pony was found dead Tuesday morning in the community of Auburn Lake Trails, the property owners association said in an email sent out to residents.  A state biologist initially thought a bear attacked the horse, but a California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden later determined that it was a mountain lion.

A federal tracker went out to the area Thursday to track the mountain lion.

"The cat took down a 400 pound pony quickly and probably will not hesitate to take down a smaller animal or person," the association said.  People are warned to be careful with animals and children and to be aware of their surroundings.

What to do if you encounter a mountain lion; often known as cougars, pumas or panthers, to protect yourself and your children from a fatal attack.

If you spot a mountain lion while out in the wilderness, awareness of a mountain lion's proximity to you, and its behavior, may save you from a potentially dangerous situation if you are prepared to respond appropriately.

Mountain Lion Proximity and Behavior

If you see a mountain lion:

-100 yards away or more that is unattentive to you;

  • Avoid rapid movements, running, loud, excited talk.
  • Stay in groups; keep children with adults.
  • Probability of risk is slight, provided your response is appropriate.

-50 yards away with its ears up and attentive to you;

  • Hold small children; keep older children close to an adult.
  • Do not turn your back.
  • Look for sticks, rocks or other weapons and keep them at hand.
  • Watch the cat at all times.
  • Probability of attack is slight for adults given proper response.
  • Probability of attack is serious for unaccompanied children.

-less than 50 yards away, staring intensely at you, or hiding;

  • All of the above steps, plus place older children behind adults.
  • Seek a safer location, or one above the lion, if available.
  • Do not run.
  • Appear larger. Raise arms, objects, or jackets above your head.
  • Prepare to defend yourself.
  • Probability of attack is substantial.

-intensely staring, crouching and/or creeping toward you;

  • Take all the above actions.
  • Moving slowly, position trees, boulders or other large objects between yourself and the lion.
  • Do not lose sight of the lion.
  • Smile! Show your teeth. (A woman attacked at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park may have saved herself by baring her teeth, growling and staring the lion down as it approached her).
  • Make loud, menacing sounds, like yelling and growling.
  • Throw things if the lion is close enough to hit.
  • Use lethal weapons if you have them.
  • Pepper spray may be effective if lion is downwind and close enough.
  • Probability of risk is serious if within 200 yards.

-poised to attack;

  • Prepare to defend yourself in close combat
  • Fight back.
  • Make menacing noises.
  • Keep eye contact with the cat.
  • Act aggressively toward the lion.
  • Use a stick to charge the lion, thrusting the stick toward its face.
  • No stick? Yell loud and run toward the lion with arms high.
  • Stay beyond striking distance of its paws.


>>>> Points to Remember <<<<

  • ALWAYS keep children in your sight, and preferably in reach.
  • Group together so you'll be less interesting as potential prey.
  • Without kneeling, pull a small child up on your shoulders to appear larger, to keep the cat from herding its target from the group, and to keep the child from running.
  • Gather older children closely around you.
  • Do not allow children to wander far from adults.
  • Instruct children to fight back if attacked.
  • Instruct children not to run, crouch or turn their backs.
  • The high pitched voices, rapid movements and small size of children may attract a nearby lion.


Campsite Safety

  • Do not feed deer, raccoons or other animals that are common lion prey.
  • Do not leave pet food out where other wildlife has access to it.
  • Avoid early morning, dusk and night excursions.
  • Call your desitination ahead of time to inquire about lions in the area.