California Mt. Lion Taken
During the early morning hours of Sunday, October 5th, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), with the assistance of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), shot and killed a mountain lion that had been declared a public safety threat.

The lion had returned to the Ortega Equestrian Center in San Juan Capistrano Friday night and fed on a road-killed coyote that had been placed out by the DFG. The next day the carcass was moved into a box trap in anticipation of the lion's return Saturday night. At approximately 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the mountain lion returned and attempted to retrieve the coyote carcass but would not enter the trap.

A USDA wildlife specialist, accompanied by three highly trained tracking dogs and five game wardens, then pursued the lion upstream for about
a mile, where it climbed a tree and was shot and killed. The lion was transported to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory in San Bernardino where a full necropsy was performed.

According to the necropsy results, the animal was a 74.8-pound male, probably a sub-adult. Aside from the fatal gunshot wounds, there was a very superficial linear abrasion at the left shoulder, which appeared to be several days old. Results of rabies testing will be available in two days.

Given the animal's wounds, and after measuring both front and back paws, the DFG now believes that this animal may be responsible for all the sightings and abnormal behavior around the equestrian facility the last couple of months. As a precaution, however, the DFG will leave the trap at the facility and monitor the situation for several more days.
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