The California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigated a report of injuries to a horse in East Quincy on May 13 and determined the damage was not consistent with an attack by a mountain lion, bear or other animal, according to local wildlife officers.
CDFW Lt. Kyle Kroll confirmed his office responded to the call from a property owner on Old Highway Road across from La Porte Road near Highway 70. The owner called law enforcement about a wounded horse whose injuries he suspected might have been caused by a mountain lion.
Kroll said a confirmed case of depredation by lion had occurred nearby three weeks earlier concerning a few goats owned by someone else.
The mountain lion responsible for the loss of the goats was found and relocated out of the area.
“That lion was removed from the area, but that property was under an eighth-of-a-mile away so the owners (of the horse) thought it was a lion,” Kroll explained.
He added that the investigation concluded the horse might have been injured by coming into contact with a fence or by some other means. The exact cause is unknown.
“We found no evidence of a lion on the scene,” Kroll said.
CDFW’s local game warden, Zeke Awbrey, made the assessment on the horse incident in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA provides wildlife agents who are federal trappers to assist with depredation investigations alleged to be by mountain lions, bears and other wildlife.
“Our warden and the trapper did a scene assessment and found no evidence of a mountain lion on scene,” Lt. Kroll explained. “It did not appear that the injuries to the horse were consistent with a lion or animal attack.”
Kroll offered a reminder that mountain lion attacks upon horses are generally rare.
“As wildlife officers, we deal with many calls about lions,” Kroll said. “But only two incidents with horses have turned out to be due to lion attacks in all my years working in this field. It very seldom occurs.”