Deputies kill mountain lion in Yucaipa
10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, January 6, 2010
By PAUL LAROCCO
San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a mountain lion Wednesday after finding it in a Yucaipa backyard.
A deputy and a sergeant responded to a call from a house on in the 12000 block of 17th Street at noon and found the cat against a shed in the corner of the yard, near the Crafton Hills.
In recent days, a dog in the neighborhood had been killed by a wild animal and a cat from the house next door had been carried off, officials said.
"It's a heavy residential area, and in an instance like that, there's really no waiting around because there are kids around and the animal is so fast," said sheriff's Lt. Mike Newcombe.
Kevin Brennan, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game, said that the mountain lion posed a heightened danger because it was young, underweight (about 50 pounds) and a fair distance from its natural habitat.
"I guess this animal's fate had already been written and it was doomed to end up in trouble somewhere," he said.
Since the cat had been suspected of killing house pets in days prior, Brennan said the deputies' actions were justified. In that case, a resident could have also requested a warden to come out and trap and kill it.
"It was probably making a living off pets," Brennan said. "It's not very common to have them move that far down into town."
Reach Paul LaRocco at 951-368-9468 or plarocco@PE.com
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org