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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
THE ORANGE STREET NEWS had a harrowing face to face encounter with the Patagonia Mountain Lion — and lived to tell the tale.
The dramatic evens unfolded while the OSN was on assignment biking down Pennsylvania Avenue at 6:30 pm when suddenly the majestic beast appeared 12 feet ahead, causing the reporter to slam on the breaks of her bike.
Then mighty feline turned and locked eyes with the reporter. The cat was huge, measuring about the size of two and a half full grown Labrador Retrievers. In its mighty jaws was it was carrying its most recent prey, a small cat or large rabbit.
The OSN didn’t make any sudden movements, knowing that running could cause the mountain lion to give chase out of instinct.
Several dramatic seconds passed before the stunning creature turned into the hummingbird sanctuary, slowly walking off into the tall grass — but not before the Orange Street News was able to snap the picture above.
Mountain Lions have been seen with increasing frequency in Patagonia. In February a Patagonia woman was shocked to discover that she was sharing her house with a mountain lion. Cindy Peterson woke up on the morning of the 15th and looked out the same window and saw a pair of paws coming from underneath her porch.
“At first, I saw the paws and was like wow that’s a big kitty, cause there are cats that run around the area, but as I started looking at it more I realized it was a mountain lion. She was just sitting there, licking her paws, not a care in the world […] We can hear, it must climb up the tree’s cause we can hear it pouncing on our roof.,” Peterson told the Orange Street News.
According to Peterson Law Enforcement told her that if they saw the mountain lion in town, they would have to shoot it.
Mountain lion attacks are very rare.
A total of 125 attacks, 27 of which fatal, have been documented in North America in the past 100 years, according to Wikipedia.
Meanwhile, in the United States there have been 302 deaths from lightning strikes between 2007 and 2016.
“We don’t want to kill it, we want it alive, it is so beautiful,” Peterson told the Orange Street News.