Okmulgee Rancher Warns Community Of Mountain Lion Attacks
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma - An Okmulgee rancher is warning his community to watch their children after he says a mountain lion attacked his young calf.
The last thing Rich Ishmael was expecting to see on his 6-hour old calf is a 12-inch-long gash in the animal's neck, it's skin covered in claw marks.
The vet that sewed up the wounds says the calf had claw marks all over its body. He says the location of the bite made him think it was attacked by a mountain lion.
'I really think it's becoming quite an issue and a safety issue for people in this area with children." Said Ishmael. I had a calf go missing out here exactly one year ago this month. I want everybody to be informed of what is going on in this area."
Steven Ward lives in the same area and says a mountain lion killed one of his sheep.
"This mountain lion was jumping the fence with an 80-pound lamb and when he saw my spotlight he dropped the lamb and took off running." Said Ward.
Several nearby ranchers took pictures of paw prints near their ponds they feared were mountain lion tracks.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation says there have been 12 confirmed mountain lion sightings in the past five years none of those have been in Okmulgee County.
Their experts believe if a mountain lion had attacked Ishmael’s calf the animal would have been eaten not just injured.
The ranchers still believe they are dealing with a mountain lion and want the community to be vigilant.
'I want people to be educated and I want people to start reporting it so that hopefully we can get something done,” said Ishmael.
Rick says the calf is so badly injured he is going to have to put it down he is just hoping that by speaking out no child, will ever get hurt.
Editors Note: Since this story aired, News On 6 was able to confirm the tracks belong to a coyote.