July 31, 2008

Trappers Kill Mountain Lion in El Dorado County After Fatal Attack on Goats

By Cathy Locke, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.

Jul. 31--A mountain lion that is believed to have killed two goats on a Somerset farm in southern El Dorado County was shot to death last week.

Trappers killed the lion July 24 under a depredation permit issued by the state Department of Fish and Game, said spokesman Kyle Orr.

Candy Yeargain said her husband found the carcasses of two kid goats in their pasture on Gregory Lane, south of Sand Ridge Road, about 5 p.m. July 23. She contacted a Fish and Game representative, who advised the family to stay indoors.

Yeargain said the mountain lion dragged the goat carcasses around the pasture but did not eat them.

Neither she nor her husband saw the animal, she said, but they identified tracks in the pasture as those of a mountain lion.

Orr said it is not unusual for mountain lions to kill domestic goats, although their favorite prey is deer. It also is common for them to bury their prey and return later to retrieve it, he said.

Fish and Game typically issues a depredation permit, allowing county trappers to kill a mountain lion, if it has attacked livestock. Orr recommended securing pets and livestock in barns.

Attacks on humans are rare, Orr said, but people who live or recreate in the foothills should be cautious. They should not hike alone, he said, and parents should supervise children closely.

If approached by a mountain lion, Orr said, people should not run or bend down. Instead, they should face the animal and try to make themselves look larger, by opening a jacket, for example, and holding it out on either side.

Yelling, or throwing stones may drive the lion away, Orr said, but people who are attacked should fight back.


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