FILLMORE : Wildlife Officials Won’t Hunt Cougar
State wildlife officials will not hunt down a mountain lion that snatched a Fillmore man’s dog from his porch, but the pet’s owner or a rancher who thinks he has lost nine calves to the cougar could be granted permission to pursue the animal.
Paul Glen Neuman watched the mountain lion sprint off with his 75-pound Siberian husky after being awakened by the dog’s cries at 1 a.m. Monday.
On Tuesday, Neuman said his family and neighbors are afraid that the cougar may return to Guiberson Road.
Neuman said his family took the precaution Monday night of returning home well before dusk. Other residents of the road, which is surrounded by orange and avocado trees, are keeping their young children inside.
“You’re used to walking from one house to the next unarmed in the evening,” Neuman said. “But given the savage nature of the attack and the fact that it happened right here at the house, you no longer have that luxury.”
Patrick Moore, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game, said federal trackers will not be called to hunt the cougar because the Monday attack did not directly threaten or harm a human.
However, Moore said Neuman or others in the Fillmore area could apply for a permit to hire a private tracker. To obtain a permit, applicants must prove they have lost property to a mountain lion.
Neuman said he did not know whether he would apply for the permit.
Yulan Miller, a rancher in the Fillmore area, said he suspects that the same mountain lion has killed nine of his calves during the past few months.
He said he plans to consult with a private trapper from Canyon Country. If he can find evidence proving the cougar killed the calves, he said he may apply for a hunting permit.
“I’ve lost close to half the newborns, which is pretty alarming,” he said. “They’ve just disappeared.”