SAN ANTONIO -- Residents in Bergheim say a young mountain lion has "gone rogue,” leaving its mark in this small town.
Four dogs have been reportedly attacked. Three of those have died.
Shamus, the lone survivor, is recuperating at a local veterinarian clinic from injuries to his skull and throat.
“He and his buddy went out on a misadventure and he came back two days later, torn up,” said Dr. Dawn Fradkin. "And the buddy never came back."
Fradkin is talking with wildlife officials after a rat terrier had to be put down Monday.
The pet’s owner, Tomie Barker, said it’s the third pet the big cat has snatched from her backyard in the last several weeks.
From her patio, Barker said she spotted the young, 85-pound puma. Mountain lions normally hunt deer — which are plentiful in this rural area about 10 miles east of Boerne.
Mountain lion tracks cover a shallow, dry gulch on Barker’s property, where Barker she said the cat waits for its next meal.
“How nervy is that?" Barker said. "What’s the next step? On the front porch when we walk out the door? I mean, if it’s preying on small animals, what’s going to stop it from preying on small children?”
Since the last attack occurred in broad daylight, Barker said her grandson Gauge is playing mostly indoors with their last surviving pet, a dachshund named Nacho.
Experts say mountain lions set a routine and that Barker’s backyard is now part of the cat's hunting territory.
Hunting is on the 3-year-old’s mind, too, as he points a toy gun and takes aim into the nearby woods.
“I’m gonna hunt the mountain lion," he said. "Pow!”
Wildlife officials said they have been in contact with the Barkers and are assessing the situation.