NEAR TURLOCK, CA - A homeowner's caution probably saved her from a dangerous encounter when a mountain lion tried to get into her home Sunday.

Tami Mendonca was working in the front yard of her home on Linwood Avenue about 9 a.m. when she heard a commotion and agitated barking from her dogs, according to California Department of Fish and Game Capt. Robert Simpson.

Aware of a rash of recent burglaries in her area, Mendonca thought a burglar had targeted her home so she called 911 and moved away from her house, Simpson said.

Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies came and when they went inside, Simpson said they didn't find anyone but saw a door had been pulled from its hinges.

Deputies went outside and heard a commotion. Simpson said that is when they saw an 80-pound mountain lion in a tree.

Efforts to shoo the cat away didn't work.

Deputies were in contact with Fish and Game who advised them if the lion tried to come down, they should shoot it as the cat posed a threat to humans and animals, said sheriff's spokesman Deputy Raj Singh.

Before a Fish and Game warden arrived, Simpson said the cat started climbing down the tree. Deputies shot and killed her.

No one else was hurt.

Singh said Fish and Game said they had been investigating reports of mountain lion sightings in the past month in the area.

Simpson said it was very rare to encounter a mountain lion in what he described as mainly farmland.

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