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Rangers searching for deadly mountain lion

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 10 2014 01:22:47 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 09 2014 10:00:00 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

Park Rangers are on the hunt for a mountain lion that killed a dog after confronting its owner in Upper Bidwell Park on Saturday.

Rangers said this is lion is "unusually aggressive" and that it "stalked" its prey.

Rangers, along with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, have been looking for this deadly cat all day Thursday.  They didn't find it.

"Usually mountain lions are fearful of dogs," said Senior Park Ranger Shane Romain. "That's why we are concerned about this lion in particular."
    
Rachel Athos was walking with her dog Lexi when she came face-to-face with the cat.  Lexi kept the lion from getting to Athos and her roommate.  

They both got away, but Lexi did not.
     
"Based on what they told me; yes, the dog pursued the lion," said Park Ranger Lisa Barge.
     
Trackers found pieces of Lexi's body near Alligator Hole Tuesday prompting a hunt to find the predator responsible.
     
"We don't know if the lion is still in the area or far from that area," said Romain.

Park Rangers said it's the dense vegetation that is ideal for cats to be attracted to Upper Park.
      
"There's a lot of cover," said Barge.  "You know it's a great place for them to cat nap."

Rangers put up signs Thursday afternoon across Upper Park telling people what to do in case you come across a mountain lion.
     
"You don't want to bring out their predatory instincts but you want to make lots of noise, extend your arms and yell. If you can grab rocks or something in your hand you can throw at them that is great," said Barge.
   
The obvious answer is not the right one.
     
"The minute you panic, turn and run that's exactly going to send the lion in your direction," said Barge.
     
What might be causing this unusual aggressive lion to venture so close to town?
      
"There's some speculation the lack of rain fall might have something to do unusual activity but there's nothing concrete," said Romain.
       
Park Rangers said mountain lions usually come out around dusk and dawn.  They are advising everyone to stay out of Upper Park at night.
     
They also said if they find the cat, they will have to put it down since it already has the taste of blood from a domestic animal.