Big Bear Valley, CAThe mountain lion that had been in the Whispering Forest neighborhood along the North Shore over the last week has been put down by Big Bear Sheriff’s Station deputies this morning (May 6). The juvenile mountain lion first came to residents’ attention when, last Friday, it jumped a small fence and attacked and killed a small dog just days after also killing a raccoon in the neighborhood that borders the San Bernardino National Forest. Since last week, California Department of Fish and Game personnel have been investigating the mountain lion sightings, while the County’s tracker had been pursuing the cat, which had been seen as recently as Tuesday evening in this same neighborhood at the northern end of Division Boulevard. This morning, just after 9am, East Valley resident Ray Bowling was driving westbound on the North Shore portion of Highway 38 from his Pan Hot Springs when, he tells KBHR, he saw a mountain lion loping toward Baker Pond, just west of Division near the Forest Service cabins on the North Shore, west of the shooting range and Whispering Forest. Bowling says he called the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station at 9:11am, and deputies responded, finding the mountain lion in the treed area between the highway and Baker Pond. As the animal had been considered a public safety threat, Sheriff’s deputies fired at the animal several times, and the California Department of Fish and Game, arriving soon thereafter, supported this response by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies had positioned themselves between the mountain lion and residences in the shoreline Bear Loop neighborhood, and fired when the animal moved toward them, in the direction of homes. Deputies were able to follow the animal’s tracks back to a den, located about 10 feet off North Shore Drive/Highway 38, east of Bear Loop, where they discovered carcasses of several small animals. According to wildlife biologist Jeff Villepique of the DFG, who was also on scene, “The mountain lion is a young juvenile female, and it is the same animal that killed the dog and raccoon. It is quite emaciated and, beyond that, we are going to do an autopsy.” Villepique adds that they are confident that this is not the same mountain lion which pursued a jogger in the forest near Lake Arrowhead on Tuesday morning but, again, is the same mountain lion which had been in the Big Bear City neighborhood over the last week. “This is just another reminder,” Villepique adds, “that we are in a wildlife habitat and just because we got this one does not mean that there couldn’t be another mountain lion behind the next bush.”

Big Bear Sheriff's Station deputies, determing the mountain lion was a public safety threat, shot the animal several times.

Officials from the California Department of Fish and Game arrived on scene shortly after Sheriff's deputies; DFG confirms that this is the same mountain lion seen in Big Bear City as recently as Tuesday evening. They will now conduct an autopsy to determine why this juvenile mountain lion, which had killed a dog and raccoon, is so emaciated.