TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - For 50 years, a chunk of property near Pennsylvania Ave in Patagonia has been home to Rose Piper, her family, and several cats.
On Mother's Day it became the new home of choice for a bigger type of cat.
"I looked over there and the mountain lion was sitting.” Her backyard became home to a 2 year old male mountain lion. Who would come and go as he pleased.
"It came back three times in one day I kind of figured it liked it here.” said Piper.
This mountain lion had been seen near her area since January and in and around Patagonia for roughly a year.
Piper said she figured something was up when her cats started to disappear. At one point she had 14 on her property, now she only has four.
Piper hasn't been the only one to spot them.
"We had been taking a walk down there and some people came in a truck and stopped and said are you guys walking down there and we said yeah and they said be careful because there’s a mountain lion down there.” said Piper's daughter, Terry Piper Moreno.
This mountain lion had been seen several times since January and was completely unafraid of humans. In fact, rose and her family say they were able to get within feet of it.
"There were 3 of us outside the fence here talking to it.” said Piper.
The lion would be killed by game and fish after deciding it posed a threat.
Their statement reads:
Arizona Game and Fish Department and Patagonia Marshal’s officers lethally removed a mountain lion Friday from the 300 block of Roadrunner Lane that had been in the area repeatedly since last year. The approximately two-year-old male mountain lion was beneath a mobile home when officers arrived on-scene. It had been seen in the area Sunday, and was so unafraid of humans that an animal control officer got within three feet of it then. The lion was also resistant to hazing. It had been in the area multiple times since January, and at one point dragged a dead javelina beneath another mobile home to consume it. It was also suspected of killing a goat nearby. “The mountain lion posed an immediate threat to the community,” said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson. “It was persisting in a residential area apparently unafraid of people, was emaciated and in apparently poor health.” A necropsy will be done on the mountain lion, which may also be rabies tested.
Although Piper and her family were never hurt, there’s some piece of mind knowing she’s no longer sharing her space with an unlikely visitor.
“I remembered I lived here alone and that it was a wild animal so I wasn’t real chummy with it.” said Piper.