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Park Closed After Cougar Stalks Visitors

September 08, 1993| From a Times Staff Writer

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST — Cuyamaca Rancho State Park about 50 miles east of San Diego has been closed to the public after a mountain lion stalked two park visitors who were riding horses.

Trackers hired by the state Department of Fish and Game are hunting the animal to either kill it or capture it.

The park will remain closed until Sept. 18 or until the mountain lion is caught, Supervising Ranger Laura Itogawa said.

The incident, which occurred Saturday, is the second time this summer in which a mountain lion acted aggressively toward park visitors. The same "immature" male lion is blamed in both incidents.

There has never been a reported case of a mountain lion attacking someone in the park, but the animals have been killed by government trackers after being reported as posing a danger.

"We will accept lions who, if seen by someone, will look back and then move away," Itogawa said. "If a lion approaches someone or shows aggressive behavior, we won't accept that."

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