SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have warned residents of a Southern California suburb to take precautions as a mountain lion prowls neighborhoods after killing a resident’s dog and injuring another pet.
Sightings of the big cat in the city of Simi Valley near Los Angeles resumed Thursday evening, just hours after the attack. But the mountain lion was not aggressive and did not harm any animals or people, police said.
Police were working with state wildlife authorities to determine what to do about the situation.
Mountain lions are an iconic native species in the region but face increasing problems as development, roads and highways fragment their habitat.
“Although a beautiful animal, the Simi Valley Police Department recommends that if you live near the hills surrounding our city, keep your pets inside at night and be aware of your surroundings,” a police statement said.
The miniature Schnauzer was killed early Thursday morning when its owner let it go outside.
“When the dog entered her backyard, it ran after what she realized was a mountain lion. The mountain lion responded by attacking the dog,” a police statement said.
The resident told police she jumped on the mountain lion’s back and tried to pry open its mouth to free the dog but the mountain lion became aggressive toward her and she retreated into her home.
Police officers who responded before dawn saw the mountain lion as it appeared to eat the dog in the backyard.
A California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden arrived and planned to fire a bean-bag shotgun round at the big cat but it fled.
Several hours earlier, another resident reported the cougar attacked his dog as he walking it near his home. That dog survived and was treated by a veterinarian.