How much does Thomas White trust his kids with firearms?
When Thomas White spotted a cougar approaching his teenage son outside their home in rural Washington state last week, there was only one thing to do – hand a gun to his 11-year-old daughter.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Shelby White killed the female cougar, and wildlife officials suggested that the animal may have been sick.
The mountain cat was 4 years old and weighed about 50 lbs, which is about half of what an animal that age should weigh.
The sickly lion was one of four that has been taken on the property in recent weeks. Shelby’s 13-year-old brother, Tanner, and their 9-year-old younger brother Cody, each killed 125-lbs. lions on the same day earlier this month, and a family friend killed a fourth lion on the ranch several weeks ago.
They had tags to kill the big cats after the predators had killed livestock on the ranch.
Biologists have issued an above-average number of permits this season in the area, and think that perhaps the whitetail deer that are the normal prey of mountain lions may be scarce.