Calif. deputy kills mountain lion that stalked family

Officials say the animal tried to approach the deputy even after a warning shot, leaving the deputy with "no other option"

Rosalio Ahumada
The Sacramento Bee

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. — A sheriff's deputy shot to death a mountain lion that had stalked a family and their two small dogs Monday afternoon along a bike trail in El Dorado County.

The incident occurred along the bike trail east of Placerville. The couple called 911 to report that an adult mountain lion had been following them for about 10 minutes, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday.

This undated photo shows a mountain lion known as P-38, photographed in the Santa Monica Mountain range.
This undated photo shows a mountain lion known as P-38, photographed in the Santa Monica Mountain range. (National Park Service via AP, File)

The parents had been walking on the bike trial with their two small children in a stroller and two dogs. The couple and others who arrived yelled at the lion, hoping to scare it away, but it continued to follow them.

The sheriff's deputy arrived and watched the lion pace back and forth on the trail. The deputy also yelled at the lion, but it started walking toward the deputy instead of running away as a normal healthy mountain lion would, sheriff's officials said.

The deputy, in a final effort to scare the lion away, fired a warning shot into the ground in front of the lion. Sheriff's officials said the lion continued in its path toward the deputy, another indication that the lion was not well and dangerous to the public.

Sheriff's officials said the deputy had no other option than to "put down the animal." The mountain lion was the only one spotted in the area during the incident.

The mountain lion was taken by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for further study. The Sheriff's Office said mountain lions live throughout the county and should be allowed to live undisturbed.


In the afternoon of 1/11/21, The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office responded to 911 calls from a family walking on the...

Posted by El Dorado County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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