Another Animal Attack Raises More Suspicion of Mountain Lions

Another Animal Attack Raises More Suspicion of Mountain Lions
By:  Amy Jacquin

Cape Girardeau County -- Our story about a predator on the prowl in Cape Girardeau County certainly hit home with a lot of you.

Something is killing pigs and attacking other animals in the Oak Ridge Area... You can read about it in another story posted on this website.

We continue getting calls from people across the Heartland, with stories of mountain lion sightings.

Now story of another attack. This time a big dog in the Fruitland area. And the owner is considering DNA testing to pin-piont exactly what stalked her pet.

"This is where he laid, in corner of the mulch," Barb Begemann points out. "you can still see the blood stains."

"

Duke
"
is one lucky dog. The two-year-old sharp
ai
/ labrador mix survived a brutal attack
two months
ago.

"

Whatever it was just ripped a big chunk out of him
," says Barb, showing us pictures of his extreme wounds.

Deep lacerations shredded Duke's neck and both legs, and a big chunk was ripped off his front left... a leg he's probably going to need amputated.

"He had an extreme laceration on his neck," says veterinarian Dr. Gwen Freitag. "It just practically denuded his neck. And then it looked like attacker grabbed his legs and tried to drag him."

"He required 24 hour constant care," nods Barb.

His wounds were so intense,
Dr.
Freitag didn't know if Duke would live or die.

"Because they were down deep into the muscle," she says. "So whatever it was had to be pretty long and extremely sharp."

Barb and her vet believe it was a mountain lion. The Begemann's live just outside Fruitland... near some woods. Neighbors occasionally hear and see big cats... And another dog was killed recently.

"We look at everything now" Barb shakes her head. "Whenever we hear a noise, we have to check it out. It's made us paranoid."

None of their three large dogs spend the night outside anymore. Barb believes the attacker left blood or saliva on Duke's collar... And she's trying to gather $1,500 dollars to send it to the University of Missouri Columbia for DNA testing... Just to prove what they're up against.

"For peace of mind," she says. "There's something big and ferocious and vicious out there."

Conservation agents can't tell what predator they're dealing with, either. And as miraculous as it is Duke survived... she's worried a human wouldn't be so lucky.

Misouri conservation agents believe mountain lions are few and far between. But they are trying to get more information on the big cats, so please contact them if you see or suspect activity.

By the way, if you should ever come into contact with a mountain lion, do not turn your back and run. Running makes them more likely to consider you prey.

Always face them. Put your arms above your head or spread your jacket, anything to look bigger.

And make eye contact. They consider that threatening.

Leave slowly by backing away from the cat.