Officials then shot the mountain lion dead.
The Mason County Sheriff’s office announced they had received a called on March 25 about the mountain lion, also known as a cougar, that was responsible for the attack on a beach north of Hoodsport.
“Wildlife had to dispatch the cougar that had eaten the dog,” wrote the sheriff’s office in a statement that was posted along with a picture of the dead cougar.
Mason County Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling said the man was walking his dog when the mountain lion pounced at them from behind, knocking him over and snatching up his dog, reported local news outlet iFiberOne Radio.
The dog owner then ran to his nearby cabin and called authorities.
Deputies and wildlife officials arrived to find the cougar eating the dog under a shed.
Yesterday afternoon Deputies and Wildlife officers responded to a call of a Cougar that attacked and killed a dog on the beach north of Hoodsport. The dog owner was walking the dog along the beach. pic.twitter.com/B8vwBu54lU
— Mason County Sheriff (@MasonCoSheriff) March 26, 2019
Reports of the incident stirred plenty of discussion on local social media, with the shooting of the cougar proving divisive.
“Why did they ‘have to?,'” wrote one person on Facebook. “I thought only animals who attack humans have to be euthanized. Sad for the family who lost their pet and for the cougar as well.”
However, some defended the actions of the police.
“Thats a good sized healthy cat and the point being it attacked without fear of a human and for all if you that have never been attacked or stalked by one hush your mouths. You have no idea what fear is.Thank you law enforcement,” wrote another Facebook user.
Mountain Lion Encounters
In February a woman pried apart what she thought were fighting dogs outside her Idaho home only to discover the animal she was gripping in one hand was a juvenile mountain lion.
According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), a woman noticed her dog fighting outside her home in the small town of Mackay on the morning of Jan. 30.
Assuming it was another dog, she quickly intervened.
“As she pulled the two animals apart, she realized that in one hand she held a juvenile, male mountain lion about 35 pounds, and not another dog as she expected,” said a statement from IDFG. “The woman restrained both her dog and the mountain lion while yelling for her husband, who was still inside the house, to grab a gun.”
“Her husband responded and quickly dispatched the mountain lion as she held on to it.”
According to the IDFG, Idaho has an abundant and sustainable mountain lion population.
Earlier this year, a Colorado trail runner fought off a juvenile mountain lion in Colorado, sustaining serious injuries from bites before he broke free and killed the animal.
Those who are lucky—or unlucky—enough to have a rare encounter with a mountain lion are advised by the Colorado Wildlife Parks to stay calm, talk firmly to it, and never turn your back on the animal.
“Stop or back away slowly, if you can do it safely,” said the CWP advice. “Running may stimulate a lion’s instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright.”
Never approach a lion, especially one with kittens.
If the lion behaves aggressively, the advice is to throw stones, branches or whatever is to hand—but “without crouching down or turning your back. ”
“Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back. People have fought back with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands successfully. We recommend targeting the eyes and nose as these are sensitive areas.”