Mountain lion kills animals at Jack Creek Farms
Geese and goats victims of attack at local family farm & country store
With the drought getting worse every day, it’s not much of a surprise that mountain lion sightings are continuing as they follow their prey. However, it wasn’t just a sighting the owners of Jack Creek Farms had this week — it was a mountain lion killing. According to Joy Barlogio of Jack Creek Farms, a mountain lion jumped over Jack Creek Farms’ seven-foot perimeter deer fence as well as the seven-foot animal closure and killed all of the farms’ animals — four geese and three goats — sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
According to Barlogio, California Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that the animals were killed by a mountain lion. Though she said her family has lost many small farm animals to predators over the years, this one was more difficult to accept because one was killed to partially to feed on and the rest appeared to be killed for sport
“We didn’t expect this kind of reaction,” Barlogio said. “We feel very blessed by the outpouring of support.”
Barlogio said that her family — husband, Tim, and daughters, Becky and Mandy — are not planning to replace the animals until they can figure out how to keep the animals safe.
Fish and Wildlife Environmental Scientist Bob Stafford said that he hasn’t noticed an increase of mountain lion activity around people; however, he said that it’s not unlikely because predators follow their prey and deer are finding their way to where landscaped yards have vegetation for grazing.
Barlogio said that she doesn’t think the drought has as much to do with the lion activity as much as it does with the sheer number of lions there are because lions can not longer be hunted legally. However, when a lion threatens people or kills animals, the owner can apply for a permit to kill the animal. Jack Creek Farms is working with Fish and Wildlife to trap the lion.
“Deer are attracted to watered areas and lion will follow their prey,” Stafford said.
Doug Peterson, who lives across Highway 46 West from Jack Creek Farms, said one of his lambs was killed by a mountain lion in February when it jumped over an electric fence. Since then, he said that his family has been locking their sheep in the barn every night and then letting them out in the morning, as well as keeping their dogs and cats in the house at night. In late July, Peterson said he saw a very large mountain lion crossing his driveway in the middle of the day, and last week, he saw a cub lion crossing the driveway in late afternoon.
“In general, anything like goats or smaller, you want to be sure they’re barned up — something with a roof,” Stafford said. “For personal safety, the first thing you don’t want to do is run from it … if you have any small kids, pick them up — make yourself big and large.”
He said that lions don’t want to get hurt, because that means certain death for them at the end of the day, so they’ll run from any threat.
According to information found on the website www.wildlife.ca.gov, “mountain lions that threaten people are immediately killed. Those that prey on pets or livestock can be killed by a property owner after the required depredation permit is secured. Moving problem mountain lions is not an option. It causes deadly conflicts with other mountain lions already there. Or the relocated mountain lion returns.”
To read all the tips and suggestions by Fish and Wildlife, go to https://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/lion.html.