16 Nov 2010

Jack Russell Trees Lion in South Dakota

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Jack Russell Terriers are small dogs who don’t know their own size, as this case from Eastern South Dakota demonstrates. The valor of this particular terrier attracted international attention, and one of the best accounts is the one from the British Daily Mail.

It was a David and Goliath style battle that few would have thought possible.

But with the odds stacked against him, Jack the plucky Jack Russel chased a deadly mountain lion high into a tree.

The cornered lion remained trapped above the ground before the Jack Russel was able to pounce a few minutes later.

Jack’s owner, Chad Strenge, witnessed the astonishing scenes while he was walking Jack on farmland in South Dakota.

The pair had been hunting when Mr Strenge heard Jack barking frantically several hundred yards away.

Thinking that his heel-biting Jack Russel – a breed known for their high energy levels- might have caught a squirrel, Mr Strenge raced to a patch of dense woodland.

Incredibly, the 150lb mountain lion was trapped high in the branches while 17lb Jack bayed for his blood below.

‘He trees cats all the time. I suppose he figured it was just a cat,’ said Mr Strenge. …

Mr Strenge shot at the lion which knocked it from the tree. Jack then chased the lion over a short distance before Mr Strenge killed it with his gun.

Professor Jonathan Jenks, an expert on cougar migration, said hunters usually needed two or three hounds to chase a lion up a tree.

He said: ‘The cougar was probably not hungry enough to attack Jack.

‘It very well could have lost a territory and decided to take off from the Black Hills and head this way.’

Arden Petersen, of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks department, said that no charges would be filed for shooting the animal.

People in South Dakota have the right to kill mountain lions which they feel are a threat to themselves, their livestock or their pets.

The lion was taken to South Dakota State University, where it will be studied.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

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