Advertisement

Foursome Beats Fearsome in Lion Attack

Californians have had their share of encounters with wild animals this year, but few have been as bizarre as the one involving a mountain lion and a group of vacationers Tuesday morning in a remote section of Mendocino County.

An investigation still was under way Tuesday afternoon, but the following was released by officials with the California Department of Fish and Game:

--At about 4:30 a.m., four adults staying in an isolated cabin near the small town of Dos Rios were awakened by their dog, a collie, outside fighting a lion. When the humans appeared, the lion hid under the cabin and the dog took off running.

--The two couples gathered what weapons they could find--a shovel, a hatchet and a kitchen knife--and tried to scare the lion off. They were unsuccessful and decided to build a fire, outside, for warmth.

Advertisement

--They were standing by the fire when the lion charged from beneath the cabin, running past one woman and attacking the other. Her companions jumped on the cat and killed it.

“They had this variety of implements and they whomped on this poor cat,” said Brian Hunter, a spokesman for the DFG.

But the cat didn’t die without inflicting some damage. It apparently bit off one man’s thumb and, before the humans got involved, had bitten the dog on the face.

--The two couples and the dog hiked a mile and crossed a river to get to their 4-wheel-drive vehicle and, four hours after the attack, reached a hospital in Dos Rios. It was too late to reattach the man’s thumb, but none of the other injuries was serious.

Advertisement

--The lion was a sub-adult, between 50 and 60 pounds and apparently healthy at the time of the attack.

Mendocino County has one of the highest densities of mountain lions in the state, Hunter said.

*

Business is anything but brisk these days at Cabo San Lucas.

Advertisement

After all, it’s chubasco , or hurricane season. It’s too hot, too humid and people generally don’t want to risk being blown out of the water.

These people are wrong, according to some.

“In my opinion, August is absolutely the best month to go fishing down here,” said Tracy Ehrenberg, owner of the Pisces Fleet at Land’s End. “People think October and January are the good months, but in August you can catch a blue marlin, 100-pound tuna and 50-pound dorado all in the same day.”

These days, they’re also catching yellowfin tuna close to 200 pounds. Some of the battles are so long that the sharks are catching up with the tuna.

Advertisement

“We’ve had several come in with their tails bitten off by sharks,” Ehrenberg said.

Ehrenberg said she hasn’t seen a tuna bite this consistent in a few years, with 10- to 60-pound fish outside the harbor and the larger ones cruising with the marlin and sharks 10-20 miles offshore.

And so far, she added, the tropical storms and hurricanes have generated large swells, wind and some rain, but have yet to put a damper on the fishing.

*

Advertisement

The Southland is sweltering under an unbearably hot August sun, but there seems to be some good coming from it. The sun and lack of westerly winds have been warming the water and it could be only a matter of time before sub-tropical fish start appearing locally as they did during El Nino last season.

The First String out of L.A. Harbor Sportfishing on Monday found a school of yellowfin at the outer banks, landing four before running out of bait. And a 24-pound dorado was weighed in at Catalina Island on Saturday, another indication of better things to come.

The marlin count at Avalon is up to nine and the broadbill swordfish count is at two, with most billfish being taken at the 277-fathom spot off the east end of the island.

*

Advertisement

The State Wildlife Conservation Board has approved the purchase by the state--at a cost of $1.7 million--of 1,300 acres along seven miles of the East Walker River in Mono County. The action will preserve habitat and access along a section of river from Bridgeport Reservoir to within two miles of the Nevada border.

The East Walker was once a famed brown trout fishery and still is recovering from a massive water discharge and fish kill in 1988. Canada geese, bald and golden eagles, prairie falcons, beavers, minks, bears and other animals also utilize the habitat.

The money will come from the Habitat Conservation Fund, created by the 1990 passage of Prop. 117.

*

Advertisement

With hunting season getting under way, the DFG is offering hunter-safety courses on Saturday and on Aug. 27 & 28 at Raahague’s Pheasant Hunting Club in Norco. The classes--mandatory for obtaining hunting licenses--last 10 hours and cost $30. Details: (800) 773-4868.


Advertisement