PLACERVILLE — A sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a mountain lion that had been following a family on a bike trail in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada east of Placerville.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said it responded Monday afternoon to a 911 call from a couple with two small children in a stroller and two small dogs.

The adult mountain lion had been following the family for about 10 minutes and was not deterred when the couple and others yelled at it.

A deputy observed the lion pacing back and forth on the trail and also yelled at the animal, but it moved toward the deputy instead of running away, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The deputy fired a shot into the ground in front of the lion but it continued toward the deputy, “further showing that it was not well and dangerous to the public,” the office said. “The deputy had no option other than to put down the animal.”

The mountain lion was taken by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife for study.

Mountain lions live throughout El Dorado County, but no others were observed in the area at the time of the incident.

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