Mountain Lion Shot Dead After Terrorizing Desert Neighborhood

Animal Found Blocks From Elementary School

THOUSAND PALMS - Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a mountain lion Sunday morning in Thousand Palms. A resident spotted it in her backyard.

California Fish and Game authorities shot a tranquilizer at the cougar, but it failed to stop the animal. It charged at deputies, and that's when it was shot to death.

But, according to Fish and Game, Sunday wasn't the first time a mountain lion has been seen in a residential area.

Coyote sightings are common in the Coachella Valley, and wildlife authorities said bobcats can also be found in the desert. But, mountain lion sightings happen less than a handful of times per year, according to Fish and Game.

The cougar was found just blocks away from an elementary school. But, no one was hurt.

No human has ever been attacked and killed by a mountain lion in the valley, wildlife officials said.

Officials believe the mountain lion simply got lost traveling through the valley from the mountains and ended up in someone's backyard.

A dog was killed, which wildlife officials said is unusual because mountain lions typically feed on deer.

"Mountain lions are solitary, other than a mountain lion with cubs less than 18 months old," said Peter Siminski, director of conservation and education at The Living Desert. "So, it would not be typical for it to be traveling with other lions."

The mountain lion was about 100 pounds and around two years old, according to wildlife officials, who said it was young, and just found itself at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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