It could have been much, much worse. A mountain lion entered a home in Pescadero, California, and snatched the 15-pound family pet dog from the bedroom where a 12-year-old girl and her mother were sleeping.
“The location where this occurred is very rural area, and it’s mountain lion territory,” Sal Zuno, spokesman for the San Mateo County sheriff’s office, told the Mercury News. “The family is really shaken up by this.”
The woman said she kept the home’s French doors slightly open so the dog could go outside if needed. She heard her Portugese Podengo barking at about 3 a.m. and then saw “the shadow of an animal enter the room, take the small dog from the bed” and walk out.
There’s been no sign of the dog or lion since.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), there are somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 mountain lions within the state’s borders. Despite having the largest human population in the United States at nearly 40 million, California does not manage its mountain lion population via hunting because a 1990 measure prohibits CDFW from establishing a hunting season. Mountain lions may only be killed 1) if a depredation permit is issued to take a specific lion killing livestock or pets; 2) to preserve public safety; or 3) to protect listed bighorn sheep.
Pescadero is about 28 miles west of San Jose.
(Photo source: US Forest Service)