A Northern California family went for a seemingly innocuous stroll on a bike trail just east of Placerville on Monday when their worst fears were realized. A mountain lion began stalking them, forcing the family to call the Sheriff’s office. After a deputy arrived on the scene, he was forced to shoot and kill the aggressive animal.
The family included the parents, two small children and two small dogs. After noticing the mountain lion stalking them for a few minutes, they tried scaring it off by yelling and waving their arms. It continued to follow them.
After the deputy arrived, the mountain lion continued to illustrate aggressive behavior, pacing back and forth on the trail. The mountain lion continued to advance towards the people and the deputy fired a warning shot. The mountain lion was undeterred.
Finally, the deputy was forced to shoot the animal to ensure the safety of everyone in the area. The sheriff’s office told Fox 40 that “it regrets the incident but called it unavoidable.”
The mountain lion’s body was eventually taken by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which will conduct tests to see why it might have exhibited strange and aggressive behavior.
CDFW officials estimate there are 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions living in California, most of them living quietly in the wilderness. Mountain lion conflicts are rare in the state, with just 6 deadly incidents since 1890.
“In most cases, the person was alone when the attack occurred,” according to Fish and Wildlife. “The last documented human-lion attack occurred June 2020 in San Diego County.”