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Wildlife officers kill lion that snatched dog in Idledale

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By Pamela Lawson

Division of Wildlife officers killed a mountain lion early Tuesday, a day after the animal entered the bedroom of an Idledale family while they were asleep and made off with a family pet.

The name of the family, who are longtime Idledale residents, has not been released, said DOW spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.

“They are pretty traumatized by the event. They don’t really want to talk (right now),” Churchill said.

The lion entered a bedroom on the ground level of the home through open French doors about 4 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 4.

A couple were sleeping in the room, along with their two dogs.

The woman of the household was awakened first by a noise and saw something other than her dogs moving around. She then woke her husband, saying, “ ‘There is an animal in here!’ ” Churchill said.

The couple heard another noise about the time the lion grabbed their 12-year-old golden Lab and ran outside. The couple’s other dog was not harmed.

“It all happened very quickly,” Churchill said.

She does not know if the dogs barked at the lion. In such circumstances, in a room containing people and pets, a lion would be very focused, Churchill said.

“They focus in on the one thing they are after,” Churchill said. “They are apex predators ee they take down the weak or vulnerable.”

When DOW officers were contacted Monday, they found the remains of the Lab nearby. Mountain lions that leave a kill behind often return later.

DOW officials set a trap Monday night for the cat, and it was caught when it returned about 7 a.m. Aug. 5.

“They did kill it because it entered a home,” Churchill said. “We consider that kind of lion a dangerous lion.”