Jogger’s death starts puma panic
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1994:
COOL, California––Trail runner Barbara
Schoener, 40, a Placerville mother of two, on April 23
became the first human to be killed by a puma in
California since 1909, when Morgan Hill school teacher
Isola Kennedy, 38, and pupil Earl Wilson, 8, were
mauled by a rabid mountain lion. They survived their
wounds, but died of the rabies some weeks later.
Schoener, running alone in the Auburn State
Recreation Area, apparently unwittingly approached the
puma’s den. Wildlife officials killed the puma on May 1,
after several days of tracking, discovered she was a lac-
tating female, and rescued a male cub on May 4, who
will be donated to a zoo or wildlife park.
Puma panic grew on May 9, when state
Department of Fish and Game warden Lt. Robert Turner
killed another female puma, who reportedly rushed to
within five feet of a three-year-old boy at Cuyamaca
Rancho State Park before the boy’s father rousted her
with a stick.
The attacks gave weight to governor Pete
Wilson’s drive to repeal Proposition 117, the 1990 voter-
approved initiative that made permanent a 1972 ban on
recreational puma hunting. Hunters argue that because of
the hunting ban, pumas have lost their fear of people.
The real issue may be that California pumas purportedly
kill about 250,000 deer annually. In fact, more pumas
are shot now than ever before. Only five permits to kill
“nuisance” pumas were issued in 1971, but 778 have
been issued since 1990, resulting in 296 dead pumas.