A pet dog was almost eaten by a mountain lion after it broke into a family home at the Painted Cave community in Santa Barbara County, California.
The mountain lion smashed through a glass door at the home of Ted Adams in a bid to snatch Buddy, a dog belonging to his sister, Lee Larsen White, who had come to visit, Noozhawk reported.
Buddy had been barking downstairs at around 8.30 p.m. local time, but no one could work out why. « Right about that minute, we heard a tremendous crash, » Adams told the website. « The French door down there was just completely smashed open, and there’s a gaping hole there. We figured that the lion had come in, grabbed the dog, and left. »
But they soon realized the mountain lion was still in the property, finding a « chunky » predator in one of the bedrooms. « It was trying to get out, it was bouncing off the walls, » Adams said. « It hit the window with the dog in its mouth. »
They closed the mountain lion in the bedroom and while Adams went to get his gun, his wife, Tracy, found some bear spray. They re-entered the bedroom just as the mountain lion was about to start eating Buddy, a 25lb mix breed. « Tracy went over and gave it a full blast (of bear spray) in the face, » Adams told Noozhawk. « The lion lost interest in the dog and got very interested in Tracy, so she nailed it again. »
They opened some French doors leading onto a porch and the mountain lion ran away.
Buddy suffered from puncture wounds to his neck and was taken away for veterinarian care. He was bandaged and given medication to keep him calm. Ted said he must have « looked really tasty to that lion. »
In a Facebook post, Larsen White said the dog was lucky to be alive: « I just picked Buddy up from the vet in Santa Barbara. He suffered multiple lacerations on his neck and throat that had to be stitched up, and the lion shook him quite a lot, which resulted in a very sore neck, and possible disc problems. It’s a Christmas miracle that we still have him alive here with us. »
The Painted Cave community is located in the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north of Santa Barbara. It’s made up of around 100 homes.
Mountain lions are found across California. In 1920, the population was estimated to be just 600 individuals. In 1990, the species was made a « specially protected mammal, » making it illegal to kill or injure them. There are now estimated to be between 4,000 and 6,000 living in the state.
According to Noozhawk, residents have reported sightings of several mountain lions over recent weeks. « That’s pretty dangerous, because it could be a young child or something like that who would be just as vulnerable as a dog, » he told the website.
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