BY JOHN BURNAP, Black Hills Pioneer
September 18, 2006
SPEARFISH - Lloyd Weaver had seen a mountain lion roaming his property the last few months, and when he reported the sighting to the Game, Fish and Parks Department and was advised the animal was not a threat. That is until it attacked a cow less than half a mile from his house, just north of Spearfish.
"I have seen the cat twice, just between here and nearby housing. He was watching the cattle." Weaver said.
Weaver was relieved to have found the attacked registered Lowline Angus cow in time to save its life. The cow was found several days after the lion attack, its wounds beginning to abscess. The veterinarian told Weaver that he had never seen a bovine attacked by a mountain lion.
Game, Fish and Parks law enforcement official Mike Apland was aware that the young male mountain lion had territory in that area. Although the cat is in such proximity to homes, it has not been perceived as a threat. Apland stated that mountain lions will typically travel a regular route, hunting almost exclusively for deer.
Park Service Trapper Dudley Bethea advised that the cat would not be harvested unless it posed a threat to local livestock. Bethea mentioned that it is possible for a landowner to obtain permission to harvest a mountain lion on their property, provided there is proof of an attack.