Friday, March 23, 2007

Traps set for cougar suspected in Calif. sheep mauling

By Leslie Griffy
Mercury News
Article Launched: 03/21/2007 04:27:48 PM PDT

Reports of four sheep mauled to death over four nights in South San Jose led state officials to lay traps for the suspected killer - a mountain lion or perhaps even two of them, law enforcement officials said.

The owners of Calero Pet Retreat, a dog training and boarding facility near Calero Reservoir County Park, first saw that something had attacked two of the sheep on the five-acre property early Monday morning, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Ed Wise said.

Officials believe the sheep were killed sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

A few hours later, a dog trainer stumbled across the body of a third slain sheep. About three-quarters of the animal was gone and it's carcass still steamed, Wise said. It was a fresh kill.

Around the body, witnesses reported to authorities that there were paw prints about three or four inches wide - the same size as a mountain lion's prints.

Things quieted down until this morning, when Wise said the owners reported another dead sheep.

Today, according to Wise, officials from the state Department of Fish and Game are at the property laying traps for what may prove to be several mountain lions.

Anyone who sees a mountain lion in the area should call the Sheriff's Department at (408) 808-4400.

Contact Leslie Griffy at or (408) 920-5945.

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