State Defends Killing Mountain Lion in OC for Threatening Family

Categories: Grrranimals

mountain-lion_these-eyes_Art-G-flickr.jpg
Photo by flickr user Art G.
Not the dead mountain lion
State wildlife officials are defending a game warden having shot and killed a mountain lion Sunday afternoon in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Relocating the roughly 1-year-old, 60-pound male was not an option because the cougar had already shown itself to being a public threat and would likely have endangered humans wherever it was moved to, explained Dan Sforza, the assistant chief of enforcement with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Madison Smith had said she was hiking along Borrego Trail near Foothill Ranch Elementary School with her 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter when they heard the mountain lion snarling and making hissing sounds and saw it acting aggressively toward the boy.

As Smith's son moved back toward his mother, the beast got into a crouching position, bared its teeth and seemed ready to pounce, according to the mom. She estimated it got within six feet of her boy.

Another hiker shouted and threw rocks at the animal, but it would not retreat. Smith was finally able to get herself and her children out of the area safely and then call 9-1-1.

Orange County sheriff's deputies and a Fish and Game warden encountered the mountain lion in the same area of Borrego Trail, and because they could not scare it off they decided to take it out.

Sforza says they suspect the cougar got separated for its mother and was still learning how to hunt. But it having shown no fear of humans was too dangerous to ignore, especially in a park where 35-year-old mountain biker Mark Jeffery Reynolds was fatally
mauled in 2004 (which led to one of the greatest articles in this rag's fine history).

A necropsy is being done on the mountain lion, City News Service reports.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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106 comments
sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

"they" were here first


ah, the interchangabilities of the leftist propaganda machine


tigers lions and oh my, mexicans



but not one of you is giving up your home and all your worldly possessions to them …especially the latinos


who many appear more friendly than the mountain lion

Joey Rodriguez
Joey Rodriguez

RIP young Lion. what a idiot to take your kids out to a wilderness Park, theirs soo many safer trails in the Oc

Kit Hope
Kit Hope

Hey, the mountain lions were there first.

Melissa Sims
Melissa Sims

I don't think banning children is the answer. Our kids need to see the beauty of the nature that actually still exists. Banning idiotic mothers that can't read warning signs and let her children (PREY) wander off in front of her...well, that's an idea. People: Whiting Ranch is NOT just some hiking trail. It is filled with wildlife and you are entering their home. Be prepared for the risk.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

A lot of people on this thread are commenting very aggressively, one person namely, calling people stupid is unnecessary.  I have a mixed reaction.  It's sad that the mountain lion was killed in its habitat.  But it must also have been very terrifying for the mom and children.  Sad situation all around.  Humans are taking over their land and the poor animals are just living life how they naturally do.  Too bad the poor guy couldn't have been relocated but almost congratulating his death is kind of pathetic. 

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Do any of you people making stupid comments actually venture into the outdoors? I bike whiting all the time and the last thing I or any of my fellow mountain bikers wants to come across is a aggro mountain lion. If you kill the aggressive ones, the others will learn that humans are not to be messed with nor human children and we can coexist peacefully.

Desiree Reyes
Desiree Reyes

Wyatt isn't ur shield. Stop going here. I have spoken Jill Phillips Sleeth

Desiree Reyes
Desiree Reyes

Jill Phillips Sleeth ur no longer allowed to go here with Wyatt

Ruben Diaz
Ruben Diaz

I went mountain biking here a couple weeks ago and saw some lady with a 3 young kids, 10 and under. I remember thinking I would never bring my kids there and especially at that time, around dusk!! Is it really worth the risk when it comes to your kids?

kgb0
kgb0

And theres warnings signs about Mtn Lions all over the place yet people go in anyway then when they see one they want it shot 

Yolanda Alejandre
Yolanda Alejandre

& let's take our small children to go hiking in a wilderness park where there has been a history of attacks. Isn't she being charged for endangering her children? Poor lion!

Bill Wall
Bill Wall

And I'm listening to a Hugo Duarte playlist on youtube just because of your picture.

Bill Wall
Bill Wall

There you go erasing my snark with facts. In fairness to me, Google said necropsy was a synonym and not species specific.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Wow the anti-human disneyland mentality nutjobs come out of the woodwork for a story like this. Everywhere is a mountain lions habitat unless there's a greater predator. In this case humans are the top predator and we have every right to kill such a monster threatening our children. What's wrong with some of you? Need to allow open season on these stupid mountain lions. Again think of the deer they kill and how hunters could be taking those deer instead. Humans have just as much claim to the habitat as any other creature. Get your head out of the sand.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Don't think you understand how nature works. Humans are the apex predator on the planet due to our superior intelligence and tool making ability. Thus we can go whereever we want and wipe out whatever other species we want. I'm not saying we should do these things but it's our prerogative in the case of species that want to do us harm or cause us problems or ones we want to eat (wooly mammoths and saber toothed tigers were wiped out by humans, imagine our ancestors looking down on us and seeing such nonsense spewed on this message board by losers who would rather see a child harmed than a stupid animal killed). We are nature as well sister.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

The lion should have been more aware of the risk.  

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Not their home. They are animals and don't have rights like humans do and you are being disingenuous using that word and trying to equivocate.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@949girlDelusional. Nothing sad about it. It's all mountain lion habitat. Your house is built on top of it's habitat. It's all human habitat too. Nothing poor about these animals. You have been to disneyland too many times. They are killers. Remember Mark Reynolds. I'm not congratulating any death. Just don't care about a stupid animal as much as I do other people and children. This is the only state where killing mountain lions is illegal. Think people here are more progressive and enlightened or a bunch of dimbulbs who are anti-human traitors.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@vegandawg23  

"If you kill the aggressive ones, the others will learn that humans are not to be messed with."  

Admit it...you're here solely to parody us lifers in the sport of blog commenting.  Or to parody the typical South County mentality.  (I hope it's the latter.)

irishe47
irishe47

@vegandawg23 You know nothing about animals or wildlife if you believe what you just wrote. If you bike Whiting (believe it is spelled with a capital W) you would know there are signs posted there.  Of course, that is assuming you can read better than Madison Smith.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Shouldn't have acted like a jerk and tried to attack kids.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Wouldn't be a risk if it weren't for animal nutters. The risk could easily be eliminated.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@kgb0 Derp, park is for people not a buncha deadly animals.

canycany
canycany

No shortage of stupidity, including in parents.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Are you really stupid enough to suggest that children shouldn't be allowed to go into public parks like Whiting Ranch? What exactly is the point of the park if not for people to enjoy it? Let a buncha mountain lions run around near where people live. Is that the point?

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Kill yourself then traitor. Find a dead chicken, tie it around your neck and go hike around whiting. When a mountain lion eats you, we'll get to kill it. Win-win.

canycany
canycany

@vegandawg23  


Wrong again. "everywhere" isn't mountain lion habitat.  Try doing some research on the species.

irishe47
irishe47

@vegandawg23 Wow the anti-wildlife zoo mentality nut jobs come out of the woodwork for a story like this.  Everywhere is a humans habitat unless they have brains. A monster threatening children??? I think the bigger issue here is that Madison Smith is an unfit mother. If a park has signs up that are clearly posting the danger, why would you ignore them?  I have reported her to the county for child endangerment.  She is clearly enjoying being the center of this. She poses daily for the papers in a different outfit right next to the warning signs.  I hope the DMV looks at this.  If she cannot read she should not be driving a car...if she ignores a school crossing sign and hits a kid should we put her to sleep.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@JBinOC @vegandawg23No these are facts. Animals learn. Guess you have never seen any except on BBC documentaries though.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@irishe47 @vegandawg23Signs in every park that mountain lions and rattlesnakes are present. You think kids should be banned from almost every OC park? So what if there's signs?

canycany
canycany

@vegandawg23  


This area was set aside as mitigation for WILDLIFE HABITAT loss, not for biking or hiking.  That was part of the condition of approval for Whiting Ranch.


The lack of common sense I see there is astounding, particularly from you bikers who seem to think that running rampant all over and nearly hitting people (eh-hem... walkers have the right-of-way) is some sort of sport.


Get over yourself.

irishe47
irishe47

@vegandawg23 Please don't take your children to Yellowstone or Jackson Hole...I can promise they are not going to kill all the bears for you and your offspring. I am sure if you have children you are raising them to hate animals and I'll bet your a Sea World fan.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@irishe47 @vegandawg23It's a public park. Anywhere there's animals that threaten children near civilized places those animals need to be put down swiftly. The animal rights weirdos can go soak their head. Don't see any need for deadly animals to be wandering around so close to where we build our homes. I have no issue with them being relocated to alaska or the yukon. Let them try to eat a grizzlies cub and see how that goes. Hope noone does everyone a favor and sets traps or throws poison meat out for these mountain lions, that would break my heart.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@canycany @vegandawg23Noone wants to hit anyone. Certainly don't want to damage my bike on your head. As for "WILDLIFE HABITAT loss", those stupid lions can go live in the Santa Anas or they can just DIE if they can't coexist peacefully with humans.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@irishe47 @vegandawg23Delegated park? It should have behaved itself then. Maybe it's friend's witnessed it's death and learned that humans aren't to be messed with. We are the top predator and no amount of idiocy from bleeding heart traitors is gonna change that. Change the name of the park and get rid of the stupid lions.

irishe47
irishe47

@vegandawg23 @irishe47 The animal in question was in his own delegated park and space. Mountain lions are not found in Alaska (or the Yukon as you state)build your fu-king house somewhere else.

Sevenhorsemen
Sevenhorsemen

Clearly you are a not getting enough vitamins or proteins to allow for clear thinking Vegandawg23. We are not the top preditor sweetheart. But this comment is to be expected from one who's a fricking VEGAN.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@Sevenhorsemen It appears I have a stalker. I'm flattered you would go through all of my posts to find this one.

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