Horses Possibly Killed By a Mountain Lion

  • amRacing Farm in Lockwood Valley where three young horses were killed.[Meyer Photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

    amRacing Farm in Lockwood Valley where three young horses were killed.[Meyer Photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

By Gary Meyer

Three young horses have been killed at a training facility in Lockwood Valley since October 14, according to the facility’s representative.

Melinda Scarano of Cam- Racing Farm in Lockwood Valley said they are not certain what killed the horses, but believe it could have been a mountain lion or coyotes.

CamRacing Farm on Lockwood Valley Road trains thoroughbred race horses. The three thoroughbred foals that died were seven months old and 600 pounds, according to Scarano.

Workers discovered the first horse dead on October 14 when they came out to start feeding at 6 a.m., she said. The second was maimed four days later and died of its injuries. A third horse was maimed on October 21 and later also died of its injuries.

Scarano said nobody heard any sounds on the nights the horses were attacked.

California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Information Officer Andrew Hughan told The Mountain Enterprise that DFG Game Warden Dennis Rosenberg visited the farm on October 22 and found no tracks, blood trails or other evidence of a mountain lion attack.

Hughan said DFG doesn’t speculate and pointed out that Rosenberg informed the horse owners that if they see a lion come onto their property and it threatens their animals, they can shoot the lion, but they must call DFG immediately to obtain a post-action depredation permit and have DFG remove the animal.

The farm had also contacted Steve Martin of Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife, located in Lockwood Valley, who visited the farm on October 20 to look at the scene and try to determine what may have attacked the horses.

Martin told The Mountain Enterprise, “It was probably a mountain lion. It wasn’t coyotes. The way the flesh on one of the hind legs was chewed up and a laceration on the abdomen” were typical of a lion attack.

Another unconfirmed report has come to the newspaper about the death of another colt and a dog under similar circumstances at a ranch in Gorman.

Farrier Dawn Jenkins said if there are mountain lions out hunting, it is wise for animal owners, hikers and parents to be vigilant about leaving children and animals outside unprotected, especially at dawn and dusk.

This is part of the November 04, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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