Bartlesville Family Says Dog Attacked By Mountain Lion
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - A family says their pet was killed by a mountain lion Thursday morning in the Woodland subdivision of Bartlesville.
The family says they're now scared to go outside.
"It's very scary to see a very large cat in your backyard," said April Gardiner.
Gardiner lives near Kenwood and Adams Boulevard. It's a woodsy neighborhood, but in the middle of town.
Her dogs woke her up early Thursday morning, and when she went to check, she said she couldn't believe what she saw.
It looked like a cougar. It was huge, a lot bigger than her. I wasn't any more than six feet away from it," Gardiner said.
She said the animal grabbed the family's 13-year-old Schnauzer, Maya, and jumped over the fence.
The big cat eventually dropped Maya and took off into the woods, but by then it was too late, and Maya had to be euthanized.
"It was a reality check of what can be outside," Gardiner said.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife says, since 2000, they've only been able to confirm 14 mountain lions in the state. They don't think there's a breeding population there, just a transient population that comes in and out of Oklahoma.
Bartlesville animal control is patrolling the neighborhood and has a set a trap nearby. They say, in the past two years, they've received a number of calls of large cats within a three mile radius of the Gardiner's home.
The state wildlife department says one way to recognize a mountain lion is by its tracks. For example, a mountain lion track has four teardrop-shaped toes and a trapezoidal shaped heel pad, but it's missing claw marks.
Bartlesville police are asking residents to be cautious, especially after dark.
Gardiner said the whole incident has her family on edge and worried the animal might come back.
"Oh, it hurts, and [it's] a little bit scary. My kids are...my oldest daughter saw it all out the window, it woke her up too, and they're scared to go outside. We're scared to let her out," Gardiner said.
The state wants to know if you think you have seen a mountain lion in Oklahoma, so they have set up an online registry form.