A community in Santa Rosa, California is in shock after a mountain lion broke into a home and dragged a dog outside.
Rebecca Cracker told KRON4 that her family had lived on that property for 50 years and had never seen a mountain lion on it. So, she had no clue that leaving her sliding glass door open one day would lead to a lion breaking in.
Around dusk on November 28, Cracker’s 12-year-old border collie, Sherman, was growling. When she looked over, she saw a mountain lion in her house, grabbing her dog. The lion dragged Sherman outside.
“This is not normal,” Cracker recalled thinking. After she called for help, a neighbor fired a gun and scared the lion away. But the lion, later identified as a 16-year-old female named P1, lingered. She killed two goats on Cracker’s property and stayed nearby, stalking Cracker’s house. P1 was later tracked down and euthanized.
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Sherman was motionless by the time P1 was scared off. But luckily, he survived. However, residents of Sonoma County are concerned for the safety of their loved ones — including children.
“That could have easily have been a kid,” Rebecca’s neighbor, Ron Crane, told KRON4. “The local activist organization knew this cat had erratic behavior problems for a while. I’m a local rancher. The public needs the whole story.”
Dwindling deer populations have led to cougars taking drastic measures to survive. Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), a local conservationist group, said they were “saddened” by P1’s death but also agreed that it was necessary to euthanize her. ACR also said that her behavior was unusual, likely due to her old age.
According to Dr. Quinton Martins, an investigator for Living with Lions, old age can lead to odd behaviors such as reduced inhibitions around humans and feeding on livestock.
ACR described P1 as “remarkable.” Over the 8-year span that the mountain lion had been tracked, she’d given birth to 3 litters of kittens. One of her offspring had traveled all the way to Vacaville, California, about 65 miles away, and had managed to cross the heavily trafficked I-80 on numerous occasions.