CALABASAS (CBSLA.com) — Barbara Lyons considered her miniature horse named Marco Polo part of her family.

“Marco was the sweetest one, shyest one.” Barbara Lyons said.

When Marco was missing from his pen at a Malibu Ranch over the weekend, Lyons thought he was stolen.

On Tuesday, the horse’s body was found near his pen, killed. Evidence shows it was attacked by a mountain lion.

“I just hope he didn’t suffer,” Lyons said.

A spokesman with the Department of Fish and Game says about a half-dozen mountain lions are known to live along the Santa Monica mountain range. Any one of them could be to blame, but the one known as P45 is the prime suspect because he’s known to roam the area. A Malibu rancher says P45 recently killed some of his llamas and alpacas.

Mountain Lions Putting Fear Into Santa Monica Mountain Ranchers

Despite Lyon’s grief, she says her family has no ill will toward whichever mountain lion is to blame. She decided not to get a permit to trap and kill the big cat.

“I don’t want any harm to come to the mountain lion that did this.”

Mountain Lion Suspected Of Killing Goats In Murrieta

Fish and Game officials say there have been a normal number of mountain lion attacks this year, about once or twice a month. However, they say they have never seen a miniature horse attack.

Officials warn animal owners to keep their large and small animals indoors, especially at night.

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