On Thursday, July 24, 2014, Jennifer Cruickshank drove her jeep to the acreage near Calvert’s Addition, just west of Hanna, to feed her two pigs and four horses. That morning, Bacon and Sausage, the pigs, did not trot over to the fence to greet her. One pig was dead and partially buried in the shed, attacked at the throat, and the other was still alive but seriously wounded. Cruickshank said, “When I first saw the first one, I backed out and my first instinct was where is the cat?” She called her husband from her Jeep. She also called the Sheriff’s Department who dispatched game warden, Ryan Kenneda, who investigated and verified a mountain lion attack. Cruickshank had to put down her wounded pig. The four horses were unscathed but spooked.
After assessing the scene, Wyoming Fish and Game Warden Ryan Kenneda, theorized that the cat was “a smaller one, between 60 and 80 pounds.
Kenneda talked to Brian Debolt, Wyoming Game and Fish Large Carnivore specialist who said that a lion killing pigs is fairly rare but does happen across the state periodically and typically a lot of those lions don’t come back to eat the pig, possibly because the pig is an easy target, but the lion then doesn’t really like pig meat. However, on July 28th, Cruickshank reported fresh tracks to the game warden.
Kenneda advised bear spray to repel “any animal, whether it is two legged or four legged, any kind of predator.” He said, “Bear spray is more effective and cheaper than a gun, and there is hardly any way you can get in hot water with the game warden if you spray an animal with pepper spray versus shooting it with a gun. When an animal is shot with a gun, I investigate it irregardless, and sometimes what a person thought was self defense isn’t.”
It doesn’t hurt to remember that Hanna is in mountain lion country.