SEDALIA, Colo. (CBS4) – A mountain lion attacked a prize winning lamb in Sedalia and killed the animal right in its owner’s backyard.
For the family the loss hits emotionally and financially. The lamb’s death will cost them thousands of dollars in future sales.
The lamb’s name was Tilley. Her owner, Jesse Lautenbach, 14, planned to raise her for several years to come. But not after the mountain lion invaded her pen two weeks ago.
“I was like, ‘Okay, I don’t want to see this.’ I knew at that point she was dead and I was just crying … and I didn’t want to put myself in the situation to see her like that,” Jesse said.
The Lautenbachs are accustomed to bears, however.
“We had a bear come through and get into our chicken house last year and kill all of our chickens,” Jesse said.
They knew mountain lions roamed nearby but never expected a cat to attack. They now think it was a mother teaching her cubs how to feed. The family is now concerned the mountain lion might return.
“My husband took watch last night and she did return, which is typical when they try to bury it. That’s the sign that they’re going to come back,” Lorie Lautenbach said.
For Jesse, raising a lamb to adulthood is a labor of love. It was also a business. Tilley gave birth to twins which sold for $2,000. She was banking on future sales from the lamb’s offspring to help pay for college.
“To me it doesn’t matter really about the money. I just love what I do,” Jesse said.
Jesse plans on buying another lamb and getting back into the business, but they family knows there’s no guarantee the mountain lion won’t come back.