Horse attack in Adams County

Spencer and Dawn Trautvetter measure paw prints found on their parents' property nearby / KHQA file photo

Are there cougars roaming around the Tri-States?

We've heard claims that there are during the past nine years, from residents in all three states.

Keep in mind, those reports never have been confirmed.

But that denial does not appease residents who think they saw one, or who think their animals may have been attacked by one.

Wednesday night, we tell you about an Adams County family who thinks a mountain lion is responsible for attacking their 6-year-old horse named Flicka.

Spencer and Dawn Trautvetter live near Lorraine. They rescued this broken paint horse about two years ago. They went out to feed her Monday evening, when they noticed gaping wounds on Flicka's legs. They thought it might be from barbed wire, but there was none to be found in this field where the horse grazed. Instead, the couple found these large, deep claw marks in Flicka's legs. SO deep that it punctured the animal's cartilage.

Dawn Trautvetter said, "It's not a coyote. The markings are too sharp."

Flicka is now a a Quincy veterinary clinic, where she's being held on close watch until Friday. But the story doesn't end there. This past February, the Trautvetter's found a paw mark at their parents' home who live just about a mile away. It measured about three inches long. After doing research on what cougar paw prints look like, they say it matched perfectly. They took the evidence to a local conservation agent, who thought it was merely a dog.

Dawn Trautvetter said, "They felt like it could not be a cat, because the claws were out. But it would've been jumping."

Now, the Trautvetter's are stuck with a $500 vet bill. They don't want to scare anyone, but they do want to make people aware of their story.

She said, "Make sure your kids are not out after dark. I don't think these animals would attack during daytime."

The Trautvetter's aren't the only Adams County residents whose horse was attacked this past week.

I spoke with a resident in the southern part of the county this evening whose 3 horses were attacked last Friday.

She thinks a wolf is responsIble. But regardless, she wants to warn people about possible cougars, bobcats and wolves in the area.

KHQA's Rajah Maples spoke with Adams County Animal Warden Jenny Benjamin about both incidents.

She told KHQA she isn't sure what attacked these animals, but that she is investigating both.Benjamin wants to know if there are any similar attacks happening in our area. If so, you're asked to contact her office at 277-2145.