On Sunday, Tami Mendonca was outside working in her front yard when she heard a commotion and her dogs barking in the backyard of her house located in the 5000 block of E. Linwood Avenue just east of Turlock. Mendonca went in the backyard and found the French doors of the house busted off the hinges. She called 9-1-1 and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a suspicious incident around 9am.
Because of other burglaries in the area, Mendonca thought somebody could have broken in so Deputies searched through the house and found nobody.
While talking over the report, Mendonca’s dogs began barking again. Deputies found that the dogs had pointed out an 80 pound adult female mountain lion in a tree.
According to Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Royjindar Singh, deputies contacted California Fish & Game who advised deputies that they have been investigating reports of a mountain lion in that area over the past month. The Warden’s stated they would be en-route to assist deputies in trying to remove the animal from the property. The Warden’s also advised Sheriff’s deputies that if the mountain lion came down from the tree, the animal could pose an immediate threat to public due to the fact it was out of its normal habitat.
Before the Fish and Game Warden’s arrived on scene, the Mountain Lion started coming down from the tree and the deputies were force shoot and kill the animal as it posed a immediate threat to an area populated by humans and domestic animals.
Fish and Game Captain Robert Simpson stated that a Warden arrived on scene and took custody of the animal. They will conduct their own investigation on how and why the animal was so far away from its normal habitat. This is a rare occurrence as the location of the incident is not a known mountain lion habitat. The area east of Turlock is mainly farmland and the mountain lion’s nearest natural habitat is about 30 miles away, according to Simpson.