A full grown mountain lion was killed on Friday in Rock Valley, Iowa, less than 200 yards from a home where children are always playing outside.
The Maassen family has five kids and eight more were on their way over for a sleep over Friday night.
"We didn't really realize it but we had kids coming over and they ran right outside to play in the same area," Carrie Maassen said.
It all started Thursday night when a hunter on a nature hike spotted what he thought was a mountain lion, then he saw the deer it had killed.
Wanting photographic proof of what he saw, he put up a trail camera and hoped the cat would return.
"We get a lot of calls about mountain lion sightings, most of the time they turn out not to be mountain lions, but in this case, I did know this person and I believed he was probably pretty accurate in his description," said State Conservation Officer John Sells.
Friday, when the sighting was confirmed, Sells started tracking it immediately.
After a few hours, Sells and the hunter stumbled upon its hiding place. The animal was strangely not intimidated by humans and jumped at them, leaving no choice but to shoot.
"You know they're beautiful animals and you hate to have to kill any of those beautiful animals, but in this particular situation we've got houses, a lot of houses within a mile of this area and we really need to consider a human life," Sells added.
Sells also says if they hadn't killed the animal, it would have returned to that same hunting spot.
"It has found an area here where there are dear and it did kill a deer. It's not going to differentiate between a small child or a small deer that walks by."
The Maassen family was also saddened, saying they live in the country because they love nature, but understand what happened was for their safety.
"We're very thankful that the DNR protected us and did their job."
Sells added that shortly after the cat was killed, he noticed children unloading off a school bus a short distance away.
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