Saved 5 Family Members from 2 Mountain Lions

by Lorrie Alegria
(Santa Ynez, California)

My oldest pyrenee, who has been my disabled service dog for ten years, saved five of my family members from 2 male mountain lions in a hiking encounter on our ranch in Santa Ynez one Christmas eve. I was driving home up the dirt road and saw them leaving for the hike on the hill to the lake, and panicked since it was close to dusk and they didn't have my pyrenee with them. I forced my friend to jump out and go catch up to them with my pyrennee so they would be safe. My instincts were as good as my pyrenee's, because they definitely needed her. During droughts especially mountain lion attacks become fairly frequent. As they rounded a bend below a ridge the 2 immature male lions (young brothers since it is rare they are together) were ready to pounce from above on the small dogs, and as they hid Happy ferociously drove off the mountain lions. My mother singing silent night was maybe less effective. Her and the other pyrenee chase black bears amd mt. lions away from the yard year round whether we see it or not. We all owe them our lives and the very persistence of our Basque culture from the Pyrenees Mountains and the Basque Country to California.

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