Mountain Lion Reportedly Kills Llama at San Bernardino County Ranch

A property owner who says a mountain lion attacked llamas on her ranch believes the drought may be why the lion has descended from the mountains.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Following an attack that killed a llama, a ranch owner has been given permission to shoot a mountain lion if it's on her property. Tony Shin reports from Devore for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014)

    A mountain lion was spotted in the San Bernardino County community of Devore over the weekend – a mountain lion that one resident believes killed her llama few weeks ago.

    Shelly Smith has lived on a 60-acre ranch on Cable Canyon Road for the last 26 years and says she had never had a problem like this. She believes the drought may have something to do with the mountain lion’s arrival.

    "We're just assuming that he’s thirsty and hungry and coming down for that reason, but unfortunately it's terrorizing our property," Smith said.

    Smith says she heard her animals screaming a few weeks ago and discovered that her llama Frosty had been attacked and killed. Another llama had been bitten, but survived.

    "It's nothing like you've ever heard before, it's horrifying," Smith said.

    Fish and Wildlife wardens have given Smith permission to shoot the lion if it returned.

    Smith says the lion returned Saturday night, and that she heard it attacking some type of animal in the same area where her llamas were attacked.

    Despite having permission to shoot the lion, Smith says it’s difficult to know when the animal will appear.

    "That’s always a problem because you got to go in and unlock the safe to get to the gun and get out there and by that time, he's already mauled whatever he's interested in," Smith said.

    Smith is also concered about her caretaker’s children who live on the property as well.

    "We don't know from one moment to the next when this animal is going to come back and attack one of our other livestock or one of us," Smith said.

    Authorities are still investigating the second sighting, but as of now, have no plans to trap and relocate the lion. More action will be taken if authorities believe the lion becomes a threat to public safety.