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Residents on alert for mountain lion

September 4, 2009 3:57:46 PM PDT
A word of caution is going out to residents in the Moorpark area to keep a vigilant eye on their children and their pets. Residents say a beloved family dog was killed by a mountain lion.

The attack happened early Wednesday morning on Chestnut Ridge Street, which is adjacent to an undeveloped hillside.

"It was a horrifying sight to say the least," said dog owner Randy Riley.

Riley says he heard his 5-year-old English Springer Spaniel, Comet, barking early Wednesday morning. When he came out his 12-year-old chocolate lab Clancy was half eaten.

Riley didn't see any wild animals, but he said Fish and Game officials have confirmed the dog was killed by a mountain lion. Moorpark Police have been circulating a flyer warning residents to bring their pets in at night and to keep an eye on small children.

"See we have children that play back here, in this area here. Put a child in the wrong area, at the wrong time with a mountain lion and you have a tragedy on your hand," comments Riley.

Riley suspects the mountain lion found its way into his yard through a wilderness area next to his home. He's seen plenty of wildlife in the area in the past 18 years, but never a mountain lion. Riley says his friends and neighbors have been reporting an alarming number of vicious attacks by coyotes this summer.

"They seem to be really aggressive, more aggressive than I've ever seen, this year," Riley adds.

Comet, in the mean time, is now kept on a short leash.

Clancy's leash and collar serve as a glaring reminder that living close to nature often comes at a price.

"To see that violent activity and to see your pet that was, it's horrifying. It's hard to get out of your mind," he says.

Now Riley may be heartbroken to have lost his longtime pet, but he says he has no ill feelings towards the mountain lion. However, he is worried that the mountain lion may come back since he found success with feeding in his yard.

Anyone who sees a mountain lion is asked to call 911 and let wildlife officials handle the situation.

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