By Tania Chatila, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 11/06/2008 11:34:12 PM PST
ARCADIA – Officials believe a mountain lion killed Wednesday night may have been the same cat that’s been preying on domestic pets in foothill communities over the past few weeks.
Arcadia police shot the cougar about 8 p.m. in the backyard of a home in the 2200 block of Canyon Road, a residential community that abuts the Angeles National Forest.
Officers said the mountain lion had just mauled a dog to death and was charging at police when they shot the cat with an assault weapon.
Arcadia police Sgt. Dean Caputo said the mountain lion – believed to be a 140-pound female – may have been the same cat that killed a dog in Arcadia a few days earlier and attacked two dogs in Glendora last week. One was killed.
“They are travelling quite a wide area hunting, so this one could have been anywhere up in the mountains,” Caputo said.
“You pretty much have an unrestricted area in the San Gabriel Valley mountain range.”
At least three Arcadia police officers responded to the Canyon Road home on Wednesday night after a resident reported a mountain lion sighting.
Officers found the mountain lion standing over the resident’s dead dog, an Australian Shepherd.
“She had huge paws, and she wasn’t very intimidated by our officers,” Caputo said.
The cat was being housed at the Pasadena Humane Society’s morgue and was expected to be picked up Thursday evening.
Ricky Whitman, the humane society’s vice president of community resources, said normally if an animal has bitten a person, the humane society will prepare the animal for a necropsy or autopsy.
They had not been directed to do so in this case, she said.
“The necropsy is something we may or may not do based upon the circumstances,” said Harry Morse, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game.
“We usually try to take a look and see if we can establish why they were doing what they were doing.”
According to experts, more than half of California is prime mountain lion territory, with an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions statewide.
Kurt Ruhl’s 9-year-old golden retriever, Lilly, still is recovering from serious injuries sustained in a mountain lion attack at Ruhl’s Glendora home on Oct. 30. Lilly suffered multiple puncture wounds and a fractured skull.
Ruhl’s other dog Pumpkin, a shepherd mix, also was attacked by the cat and died.
“If that mountain lion (killed Wednesday) were indeed the same one, then it does make me feel good that the mountain lion was taken out of the population,” Ruhl said.
“It was no longer preying on what it should be preying on. It was preying on domestic things and that is kind of scary.”
Reporters Ben Baeder and Daniel Tedford contributed to this story.
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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at https://bigcatrescue.org
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