Mountain Lion's Attack at Palm Springs Golf Course Raises Alarm

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 08:23 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A mountain lion attacked a Palm Springs golf course worker last month in California and now the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning people to be on the lookout for the large cats.

It happened March 28 at the O'Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs, Calif., when Sal Corona was closing the front gate for the night. The 36-year-old manager said he heard a rustle in the bushes before a large mountain lion appeared.

"Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this cat leaping toward me. It was not the usual run of a house cat," Corona told The Press-Enterprise this week. "If I hadn’t seen him for another two seconds, he probably would’ve got me."

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Corona blocked himself from the predator with part of the gate, raised his arms, and made "big cat noises" in an attempt to scare the mountain lion off.

"The [mountain lion] stopped on a dime," he said. "I made eye contact with him."

At first, the cat postured back, puffing its chest out, but then it turned around and ran off into the rocky hilltops.

Corona later contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to report the incident.

"It's rare that lions act aggressively toward people," Kevin Brennan, a wildlife biologist with the department, told The Press-Enterprise. "Lions are opportunistic predators. It doesn’t necessarily mean they're hungry or starving [when they go after a human]."

The incident was just the latest mountain lion run-in in recent months. A homeless man was attacked by one near Perris, Calif., in February and just last month a mountain lion killed a $4,000 French bulldog puppy in Beaumont.

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