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Adelanto man encounters mountain lion in yard

April 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man in Adelanto had a dangerous encounter with a mountain lion that was prowling in his backyard. Officials said the animal was so aggressive that it had to be put down on the spot.

It's not often that a cat will stir up trouble in this quiet Adelanto neighborhood. But on Monday night, Jason Norona thought he heard the tale tell signs of a feline harassing his dog Monster.

"My pit bull was going crazy, that's how we heard him," said Norona.

Norona said he went outside to see if he could scare away the cat with a garden hose.

"I start wetting him with a hose, and it turns around and I see the face and I'm like, 'It's a cougar.'"

He soon realized his mistake. Face-to-face with a mountain lion, Norona said he backed away slowly and went inside to call 911. Meanwhile, the prowling cat retreated to a tree in the backyard.

"My dog was jumping on the fence, getting really close to it. It didn't even bother to hurt him," said Norona.

When deputies and animal control officers arrived, they tried to subdue the animal by tranquilizing it. They said that only made the 135-pound cat more aggressive.

"They told us to evacuate the house because it went to the house behind us," Norona said.

The mountain lion was shot as it tried to run into the neighborhood.

"It's scary really scary," said Adelanto resident Nadine Cruz. "You don't expect them to come all the way down."

Animal control officials said they believe the mountain lion may have come from the foothills of Pinon Hills and that it may have been pushed out of the area by a dominant mountain lion.