Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lion shot, killed by rancher as it attacked his dogs

Lion shot, killed by rancher as it attacked his dogs



A rancher shot and killed a mountain lion that was fighting with his dogs Sunday morning on his ranch east of Watford City, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said Monday.


According to the official report, the rancher, Kelly Hanna, heard a commotion involving his dogs and investigated. The dogs had treed a mountain lion about 50 yards from his house.


After he got a rifle and returned, he found the lion was on the ground and in a fight with his dogs, said Brent Schwan, North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden in Watford City


The rancher then shot the lion, which had slightly injured one of the dogs.


The lion is believed to be a young female that weighed about 80 pounds.


Hanna immediately called Schwan, who investigated and transported the carcass to Dickinson, where it is being stored in a freezer until it's examined.


A necropsy is planned for Wednesday, NDGFD furbearer biologist Dorothy Fecske said Monday.


Schwan said the rancher was within the law in killing the lion.


"State law specifically allows the killing of mountain lions to protect individuals or their property. The law also requires that the Game and Fish Department must be notified - which the rancher did," NDGFD said in a statement issued Monday.


North Dakota will hold its second experimental mountain lion season later this year.The animal taken Sunday will not be included in the quota of five cats for the upcoming season, which tentatively is set to open Sept. 1 and continue through March 11 or until the quota is filled.




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