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Mountain lion terrifying Tehachapi neighborhood

Neighbors say one dog has been killed
Posted at 6:36 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 00:45:10-05

A mountain lion was caught on camera roaming the streets of Tehachapi as recently as this weekend.


Neighbors said they first saw the unwanted guest in October. One neighbor came face to face with it in her backyard, and she said it was terrifying.  


Last month, Tamara Heffington said she saw a mountain lion attack and kill her dog in her backyard.


“I was freaked out, I was panicked," Heffington said. "All I could do was cry and I was pounding on the window.”


Heffington said she was letting her dog out to the restroom when the attack happened. 


“I heard a loud thud, so I turned the porch light on," Heffington said. "Unlocked it up here, and as I was getting ready to unlock it. The mountain lion, which jumped on my dog and had her trapped underneath.”


Heffington has lived in her home for fifteen years and said this is the first time she’s seen a mountain lion near her home and caught on her surveillance camera. 


“I’ve never pictured something coming over my fence, Heffington said." "The whole area is fenced. And we never would thought that a mountain lion would come in and attack our dogs.”


Neighbors said they’re scared who the mountain lion will attack next.


Joshua Strahan is a neighbor of Heffington's. 


“We have to change our schedule and think ahead so when we let our dogs out," Strahan said. "We have to keep them on leashes, whereas before, we would just open the front door and let them out. We are worried about letting our kids play out front.”


"Everybody has their guns loaded and ready, because they're worried about their own kids and their own pets in this neighborhood,” said Heffington.


Heffington said she won’t feel safe in her backyard again until the mountain lion leaves.


“They’re beautiful. But when it attacks your animal, I’m sorry. She was part of the family," said Heffington.


A Kern County state wildlife biologist suggests the following if you see a mountain lion:

  • Stay Calm
  • Don’t approach or run away from the animal
  • Try to appear intimidating by yelling and waving your arm
  • If it comes at you, throw rocks and sticks to fight it off.

The biologist also says you’re only allowed to shoot a mountain lion if it attacks you or one of your animals.