For folks in certain parts of the country, hearing about or even seeing wild animals is part of their daily routines. To a family in Pescadero, California, a close encounter with a mountain lion resulted in more than an anecdote, as a four-legged family member lost its life as a result.
Early Monday, San Mateo County sheriff deputies responded to a call from a Pescadero home. A mountain lion had entered the house and snatched a small dog.
According to the dog's owner, Vickie Fought, she and her 12-year-old daughter were sleeping in a bedroom with their small dog at the foot of their bed when their French doors, which had been left ajar, opened. Both the mother and child woke up with the dog barking, thinking that it had just been their bigger dog walking in. But seconds later, their 15-pound Portuguese Podengo went silent.
Thinking that the small dog had finally recognized their larger dog, Fought said she believed that was the end of it — until she saw a lion.
“I saw the lion walk back out the door,” Fought told reporters.
The bed shared by mother and child was just a foot away from the back door, but Fought said she wasn't able to see the animal's head. Instead, she noticed its walk and size, which led her to believe that the dog had been snatched.
“As it walked down our path, I thought, 'That looks a lot like a lion,'” she concluded. Looking at the floor moments later, she saw the “large paw prints” and "drops of blood."
The Fought family lives in the hills of Pescadero where mountain lions aren't uncommon, but they said they never imagined that they would see one entering their home.
“It's hard to fathom,” Fought stated. "It's beyond what we thought.”
Other than the blood on the bedroom door, a state wildlife warden saw no sign of the mountain lion near the Foughts' property. Now, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents to make sure their homes are properly secured.
Hopefully, those who live in areas where wildlife sightings are common will take heed and make sure their doors are always locked.
Thumbnail and banner image credit: Flicker user Wplynn