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Cougar attacking pets near Bear Valley Springs

Posted at 2:40 AM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 05:46:56-05

A mountain lion in the Bear Valley Springs area has begun to attack residents' pets.

The cougar reportedly attacked a 120 pound German Shepard last week. Police say that the mountain lion attacked the dog as the dog's owners tried to scare it off. They succeeded, but the dog's injuries were so severe that it had to be put down.

Now other residents are worried about their own animals.

"We've started chaining them up and keeping a close eye on them," said Stan Tehee, who has spotted a mountain lion twice in the past few months. "We don't leave them outside much, yeah we're definitely worried about it."

Tehee also said that he usually only sees a mountain lion once every few years, so the sudden frequency is a bit alarming. One was right next to his mailbox when he went to retrieve his mail.

"I just got out of my truck, got my mail, and the mountain lion was [right there]."

A resident of the area told 23 ABC that people aren't as aware as they should be. They said that information about this cougar isn't being communicated to the public correctly. Residents feel like not enough is being done about the problem, but Bear Valley Police Chief Jeff Kermode says that tracking an animal long-term isn't necessarily within police duties.

"We're not trained or equipped to go out and track a mountain lion and to hunt it down," Kermode said. "That would fall on the state fish and wildlife officials."