- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

CENTRAL CITY, S.D. (AP) - A Central City area couple is warning neighbors about an aggressive mountain lion they say came up on their porch and ran off with one of their dogs.

Debra Martz told the Black Hills Pioneer (https://bit.ly/23a7elq ) that the mountain lion took her Chihuahua, Frosty, after she put the small dog on a chain about 2 a.m. to go to the bathroom on Jan. 7.

“I opened the door and started screaming at it,” she said. “I was going to grab the shovel and try to smack it. That’s when his eyes locked with mine and he growled this low demonic growl. It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen. I’ll never get the picture out of my mind.”

Her husband, Mike Martz, and his nephew tried to hunt down the lion, but there wasn’t enough snow to track the animal.

There have been other lion sightings in the area, according to Mike Martz. His neighbors recently saw two lions in their driveway, and he spotted a lion walking about 50 feet behind one of his neighbors on a trail. He has notified state wildlife officials of the sightings and increased his own vigilance.

“If this one shows up again, I’m going to kill it,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s lion season or rabbit season or squirrel season. If it comes back around my home, I’m going to take it out.”

People can legally kill a mountain lion if it’s attacking a person, a pet or a farm animal, according to Josh Thompson, a conservation officer with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

Debra Martz said she wants others to know not to put their dogs out unattended at night.

“I felt so helpless that I couldn’t help my little dog,” she said. “But I thought if I stood there any longer he would have dropped the dog and gotten me.”


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, https://www.bhpioneer.com

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