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Large, wild cat attacks horse in Aitkin County

Aitkin County resident Lori Hart washes a laceration on her horse Molly's leg Mo

Horse owner Lori Hart of rural Aitkin wants other livestock owners to know there are large wild cats out there that are attacking horses.

Last week her 900-pound quarter horse mare, Molly, was mauled by a cat that a Pierz veterinarian confirmed was either a mountain lion or a cougar. The cat, Hart said, took “a big old chunk out of her hindquarters.” She said the veterinarian’s office said a similar attack took place on calf less than a month ago.

The attack is believed to have taken place at a pasture a few miles from Hart’s home near the junction of Highways 169 and 210.

The veterinarian’s report said the laceration was about nine inches long and multiple muscle bellies were severed within the wound.

Hart, who owns 15 horses, said Molly is doing well although she’s experiencing some swelling. She’s being kept in a stall for the next three or four months.

“The hide is gone,” Hart said.

Hart said she is attempting to spread the word so that livestock owners can be particularly alert to any problems caused by large cats.

“I just want the other neighbors to be aware,” she said.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860