Driver runs over cougar, saws off paws as souvenir

Mountain lion who was killed on Aug. 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
AP Photo/National Park Service

(AP) BUELLTON, Calif. - Authorities in California say someone sawed off the paws of a mountain lion as apparent souvenirs after it was struck and killed by a car.

The California Highway Patrol was called before dawn Tuesday to investigate a report of a deer on U.S. Route 101 near Buellton in Central California's Santa Barbara County. The responding officer found the deer on one side of the road, and the mutilated cougar.

The patrol says it believes the animal was chasing the deer when it was struck.

State Fish and Game Lt. James Solis told the Santa Barbara News-Press that the mountain lion's front paws were sawed off. He says someone likely plans to make jewelry out of the claws.

It is illegal in California possess mountain lion parts.