It is rare when a wildlife agency does not relocate a mountain lion that has been getting into neighborhoods, even if it has mauled a pet. But the one being hunted in Fontana is different, says the chief of police in the San Bernardino county city.
After it killed a large German Shepherd in the dog owner's fenced yard, it also threatened the homeowner who had gone out to check on the commotion. The animal did not flee when the lights were turned on. Neither did it back off when according to police, officers encountered it in the brush near the home. It took several shots to get the large cat to move.
"We've seen other mountain lions, even bears " says one neighbor, "but they all flee when they see humans". "This is tragic" says another upset resident.
The owners of the dog are devastated. Princess was a friendly, adored family dog, they explain. At the same time, they are surprised the mountain lion is being hunted, not trapped. "That's not what we wanted" says Jonathan Slater, visibly shaken about the whole thing.
If they can't find the animal tonight, and think it has taken off to far away areas in the hills, Fontana officials say they might reconsider their options. At the same time, they have alerted schools in the area, and residents as far as Rancho Cucamonga to keep all pets, large or small, inside at night. Their ultimate concern, they insist, is the safety of residents.
They do have a helicopter with heat sensor night vision, even swat officers on the ground working with Fish and Game through the night.
(FOX 11) Fontana police along with the Department of Fish and Wildlife are actively searching for a mountain lion that attacked and killed a family dog in a North Fontana neighborhood early Wednesday.
The attack happened at about 3:30 a.m. in the 4100 block of Fox Borough Drive. The homeowner heard his dog in distress and went outside to find a large mountain lion standing over his deceased pet displaying a very aggressive behavior toward the resident.
When officers arrived they found the mountain lion in the front yard. Officers shot at the mountain lion and scared it into the canyon. The mountain lion kept returning and coming towards the officers in front of the residence a total of four times before disappearing into the canyon. There is no evidence that the lion was ever struck by any rounds.
Officers and the helicopter unit are out in the area using infrared equipment to pick up the heat signature of the animal. Mountain lions are nocturnal animals but police efforts will be on a 24 hour basis until the threat is eliminated.
Police said they consider the animal an imminent threat to the community and residents are encouraged to remain vigilant, keep pets inside and call 9-1-1 if you spot the mountain lion in your neighborhood.