A Turlock resident is reporting that his pit bull dog was involved in an attack with a mountain lion shortly after midnight on Friday. However, the Turlock Police Department could not confirm that the attack was in fact a mountain lion.
The mountain lion saga began on Sunday evening when a mountain lion was spotted in the area of Berkeley Avenue and Arbor Way. Authorities searched for the lion throughout the night, but were unsuccessful in capturing it.
On Tuesday, authorities reported that they believed the mountain lion had left the area and were calling off the search.
This came after several unconfirmed sightings and reports of the mountain lion, including six that were found to be dogs and one that was an opossum, said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Patrick Foy.
The Turlock Police Department received another report of a mountain lion on the 700 block of Tuolumne Road around midnight Friday.
Officers responded to a suspicious incident, where a caller had reported his dog had been attacked by an alleged mountain lion.
The resident, Norman Esakhani, said he pulled into his garage when he heard his dog squeal. He ran into his yard and his dog came running back.
Esakhani said the alleged mountain lion was attempting to get to his chicken, but his dog stepped in to scare it off. The dog suffered a wound on its head, caused by the mountain lion, said Esakhani.
The Turlock Police Department responded to the residence at approximately 12:13 a.m.
Officers investigated the area, but were unable to locate any footprints or other evidence that confirmed that the attack was by a mountain lion, said Turlock police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.
However, Eskhani is convinced that a mountain lion attacked his dog.
“I know 200% it was the mountain lion,” said Esakhani. “I didn't see it, but there's nothing else that could've done what happened to my dog.”
Esakhani fears for the safety of his two daughters and the elderly residents who he sees walking in the neighborhood, believing the mountain lion is still in the area despite what authorities have said.
Some Turlockers have expressed concerns with the R.A.M Farms Pumpkin Patch, which opened Friday, with a mountain lion possibly still being in the area. The pumpkin patch also has a corn maze, with some fearing that those in the maze could be subject to an attack.
Anyone who witnesses the mountain lion are encouraged to call the Turlock Police Department at 209-668-5550.