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Mountain lions dine on Diamond A sheep

A family of mountain lions is suspected of killing and partially consuming as many as seven or eight domestic sheep in the Diamond A subdivision located along Grove Street on the southern flank of Sonoma Mountain.

The lions are believed to be a mother and two young-adult cubs, one of which was reportedly trapped and shot by a county predator control officer (or trapper) after it had killed sheep belonging to a Diamond A resident.

The first sign of a problem occurred on Feb. 1 when a ewe and two baby sheep were discovered slaughtered by a homeowner. The owner quickly requested officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to investigate. They determined the sheep were killed by a mountain lion and approved a predation permit that was exercised by the county trapper.

State policy generally requires that when a predatory animal is found to be responsible for a livestock kill, upon approval of a predation permit, the responsible predator is trapped and then shot.

Subsequently, in late February or early March, two more sheep were killed at a different Diamond A property, but the owners waited too long to call authorities, and by the time the trapper examined the carcasses the kills could not be connected to the lions.

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