A New Ulm area woman was forced to euthanize her horse this week after the animal was seriously injured in what appeared to be a cougar attack.
Sheryl Robinson had to put down her horse Mollee Thursday night.
The apparent attack happened on Christmas Eve or early Christmas day. Robinson lives a mile east of New Ulm on Highway 68. The horse was reportedly sheltered in an enclosed paddock about 100 yards from Robinson’s house with another horse and a pony when the attack occurred.
Mollee reportedly suffered serious injuries, with pieces of her hide ripped from her neck down her shoulder and left side. The other animals were not hurt.
A veterinarian and the Department of Natural Resources confirmed that it could have been a cougar. The animals typically roam for hundreds of miles, and there have been confirmed cougar sightings in the local area in the past.
Officials say it is illegal to shoot a cougar, except for personal safety and if you should encounter a cougar, face the animal directly, raise your arms to make yourself appear larger and speak loudly and firmly.
You should also report the sighting to a conservation officer or local law enforcement authorities as soon as possible.