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Grass Valley Woman's Show Horse Mauled In Rare Mountain Lion Attack

GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) - There is a mountain lion lurking in the foothills of Nevada County, and it's on the attack.

A horse survived a very unusual mauling, but two pet rabbits weren't as fortunate. The three attacks happened outside Grass Valley, off La Barr Meadows Road.

The attack happened Monday morning, and the owner says she will never forget the sound she heard.

"I hear this (makes roaring sound) and think 'what the heck was that?' " said Chris Beatty.

She quickly realized a mountain lion attacked both her horses.

"He's in a lot of pain," she said.

There are scratches on his back legs and all down the front of his chest. You can see the terror in Patches' eyes.

"Scared to death, I slept very little last night," Beatty said.

Fish and wildlife experts say a mountain lion attack on a horse is very rare. Beatty has been working with horses for more than 50 years and never feared this kind of potentially deadly attack.

"I've never seen anything like it," she said.

She's terrified the mountain lion might come back to try finish the job. But, now Beatty has a plan: Kill the mountain lion before it has the chance to attack again.

"Who knows you need these permits?" said Beatty.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issues permits for people who want to kill what's classified as a specially protected species.

"Without a permit, I'm gonna take care of it. And I guess I'll have to go to jail or pay a fine," said Beatty.

However, that may not be necessary in this case. If a mountain lion is threatening life or property, state law allows homeowners to kill the cat. The state could allow for a permit if there have been recent attacks and someone is staking out a mountain lion.

"If it will attack this size of animal, it will attack anything," said Beatty.

Patches was supposed to be a show horse, but the vet says the scarring will probably never go away. They estimate it will take two weeks to get the stitches out, and a couple months before he's back to normal.

Fish and wildlife didn't issue any kill permits in Nevada County last year. In 2011, five permits were issued and three mountain lions were killed.

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