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Harry and Meghan are warned that a mountain LION is prowling close to their $14m Montecito mansion

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been warned about a mountain lion stalking their neighborhood in California.

The couple were ordered to lock down their $14.6million mansion in Montecito after sightings of the vicious beast.

They were also told their flock of chickens could be an easy target for the predator and entice it towards their sprawling enclave.

The mountain lion was caught on outdoor security footage prowling just five miles from their home.

The clip showed the animal skulking down a homeowner’s driveway, past his bins and his car, before heading off into the distance.

Experts suggested the lion may have headed down from the hills in search of food and water amid the widespread drought crippling California.

The couple were ordered to lock down their $14.6million mansion in Montecito after sightings of the vicious beast (pictured)

They were also told their flock of chickens could be an easy target for the the predator and entice it towards their sprawling enclave

They were also told their flock of chickens could be an easy target for the the predator and entice it towards their sprawling enclave

The mountain lion was caught on outdoor security footage prowling just five miles from their home (pictured)

The mountain lion was caught on outdoor security footage prowling just five miles from their home (pictured)

The couple showed off the hens they rescued from a factory farm when they appeared with Oprah last year

The couple showed off the hens they rescued from a factory farm when they appeared with Oprah last year

Mountain lions: 220lb beasts that take down ELK and are the second largest big cat in the Americas

Mountain lions are the second largest big cat in the US after Jaguars.

They can weigh up to 220lbs and reach 9ft from nose to tail.

They have been known to attack humans and even take down elk when hungry.

LA is one of only two large cities in the world where big cats live within the boundaries of the town, with Mumbai being the other.

There is believed to be around 100 living in and around the Santa Monica Mountains.

Scientists from the National Park Service have tagged most of them with GPS collars.

Their lives are endangered in the region by loss of habitat, with many hit by vehicles as they desperately search for food.

Some have also started inbreeding because they cannot escape their own area to find a suitable mate. Rat poison has also been a huge threat to them, with many households laying it out to rid their neighborhoods of vermin.

A staggering 28 out of 29 mountain lions tested in a study by the NPS found anticoagulant compounds in their systems. Seven have also died due to the chemicals.

A mountain lion last killed a human in California in 2004 when a 35-year-old man was mauled to death at Whiting Ranch Regional Park in Orange County.

The last victim in the Montecito area was in 1992, when a none-year-old boy was attacked at Gaviota State Park.

He lived but was littered with 50 puncture wounds and needed 600 stitches. 

Executive Director of the Montecito Association Sharon Byrne said: ‘The fact we have security footage shows though that residents are taking this seriously as it was shot by a camera which is what we’ve been urging residents to install.

‘We want all locals to secure their homes and secure their chicken coops and whatever other animals they may have.

‘Chickens can be a fast, easy source of food for hunting animals so they have to be safe and secure.

‘We also urge residents to secure their garbage so animals can go rummaging around for scraps, to have night lighting, alarms, cameras and so on.

‘Mountain lions are solitary creatures and ultimately, they don’t want to be around people so we’re hoping this one moves on by itself.’

Harry and Meghan joined the hipster craze of adopting rescue chickens during the pandemic.

They also have two rescue dogs to look out for, which could also be targeted by the mountain lion.

The footage, recorded on July 23, has terrified locals who fear the beast could attack their children or pets.

The homeowner who took it had only recently installed the camera after a request from local authorities.

One local told the Sun: ‘There are all kinds of animals in the neighborhood – coyotes, bears and deer – but it’s rare to see a mountain lion.

‘We’re in a drought so the animals are thirsty but also there have been fires and a mudslide in recent years which seems to have brought down the bigger animals.

‘People in the area feel safe during the day but they’re taking precautions during the night.’

A mountain lion last killed a human in California in 2004 when a 35-year-old man was mauled to death at Whiting Ranch Regional Park in Orange County.

The last victim in the Montecito area was in 1992, when a none-year-old boy was attacked at Gaviota State Park.

He lived but was littered with 50 puncture wounds and needed 600 stitches.

The concerning update comes just a week after Meghan celebrated her 41st birthday with her family in the area.

A plaque on the side of the hut reads 'Archie's Chick In. Established 2021'

A plaque on the side of the hut reads ‘Archie’s Chick In. Established 2021’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance at the Jackson Hole Fourth of July parade, photos obtained by DailyMail.com show

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance at the Jackson Hole Fourth of July parade, photos obtained by DailyMail.com show 

The youngster wore a collarless striped shirt, pale blue pants and a red, black and white baseball cap emblazoned with California’s Bear Flag – a nod to the family’s home in the upscale celeb enclave of Montecito

The chickens were shown when the couple sat down for their bombshell chat with Oprah last year (pictured)

The chickens were shown when the couple sat down for their bombshell chat with Oprah last year (pictured)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the first to wish them happy birthday on their social media page.

They posted a picture of her at the Jubilee celebrations in the UK in June with the caption: ‘Wishing a happy birthday to the Duchess of Sussex!’

Shortly afterward, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall went on to share a similar message and image of the mother of two.

The images selected by both couples show Meghan at the Queen’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and did not feature Harry.

The service was the only event from the Queen’s Jubilee the Duke and Duchess of Sussex publicly attended. The Queen did not send a public message to her.

It marked the first time the couple were seen with ‘The Firm’ since the frosty Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020.

The couple made only one public appearance over the Jubilee weekend, despite flying in from the US with their two children Archie and Lilibet.

They did not appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony and were also seemingly relegated to the second row during the Thanksgiving service.

Palace aides were said to have choreographed timing for the Platinum Jubilee service to ensure that William and Kate did not bump into Meghan and Harry.

The couple sat apart from William, Kate, Prince Charles and Camilla in the church after royal aides ensured they sat on separate sides of the aisle.

Harry and William have had a long-standing feud. Harry has also accused his father of cutting him off financially.

Meanwhile Meghan claimed an unnamed royal made a comment about Archie’s skin tone before he was born, which she told Oprah Winfrey last year.

Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Charles and Camilla shared near identical photographs of Meghan Markle from their only public meeting with her in two years on her 41st birthday

Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Charles and Camilla shared near identical photographs of Meghan Markle from their only public meeting with her in two years on her 41st birthday

 

 

Kate and Prince William (pictured with Charlotte last week) were the first members of the royal family to publicly send their best wishes to Meghan

Kate and Prince William (pictured with Charlotte last week) were the first members of the royal family to publicly send their best wishes to Meghan

Earlier in the week it emerged her favorite author Omid Scobie was writing yet another book, promising a ‘new chapter of the royal story’.

He previously co-wrote Finding Freedom, a sympathetic account of Meghan and Harry’s relationship and how they came to leave the UK.

That tome went into exhaustive detail about the Sussexes for over 400 pages, including specifics about luxury holidays and Meghan’s cravings for sweets.

The new book – as yet untitled and written solo –  is due for release next year.

While Meghan admitted she authorized a friend to give interviews for Finding Freedom, it is not clear if she has given the nod to the follow-up.

Scobie does, however, promise ‘deep access’ to the royals and their entourage.

Some royal-watchers believe the new volume may counter claims made in acclaimed biographer Tom Bower’s new book, ‘Revenge,’ which is critical of the Duchess.

The book, which Meghan’s estranged father Thomas contributed to – includes a slew of allegations, including that the Duchess once made Kate Middleton cry.

Earlier in the week it emerged her favorite author Omid Scobie was writing yet another book, promising a 'new chapter of the royal story'

Earlier in the week it emerged her favorite author Omid Scobie was writing yet another book, promising a ‘new chapter of the royal story’

Meanwhile Harry is releasing his own ghostwritten memoir this year, which he has described as ‘a first-hand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.’

It comes as it was claimed Harry and Meghan will not be visiting the Queen when she takes her summer break at Balmoral, despite an invitation.

Her Majesty reportedly asked the couple and their children, three-year-old Archie and Lilibet, one, to stay at her Scottish residence and told royal staff to prepare.

It was said the Sussexes would not have to spend time with other royals, like Charles and William.

But the couple, who last went to Balmoral in 2018, are said to not be planning to attend the Scottish Highlands estate over the next few months.

A Balmoral insider told the Sun: ‘Staff have been told to expect the full list of royals including Harry, Meghan and their children. They are preparing for the Sussexes.’

Another source is reported to have said: ‘I would be stunned if they did turn up.’ It is understood the couple are planning to stay in the US before Harry’s memoir.

Meanwhile Meghan faces a renewed effort from her sister Samantha to bring a defamation battle against her.

Lawyers for Samantha said they have a ‘viable’ case against her half-sister because they have ‘actual proof of the falsity’ of statements she made.

Samantha is suing the Duchess of Sussex for allegedly peddling a ‘rags to riches’ tale in her Oprah interview, and also over comments in the book Finding Freedom.

While Meghan’s legal team are arguing the claims she made on Oprah were a result of ‘how she felt’ and that she did not write Finding Freedom so cannot be held liable, Samantha’s counsel says she was labelled as a liar as a result of what was said, which they argue was based on falsehoods.

Samantha Markle is pictured with her half-sister Meghan Markle at her graduation in 2008

Samantha Markle is pictured with her half-sister Meghan Markle at her graduation in 2008

Jamie Sasson, of the Ticktin Law Group, told Newsweek: ‘We clearly put into our complaint the damage that was caused to Samantha Markle by her being labelled a liar.

‘She now faces online comments of ‘Meghan’s lying sister’ and she never lied about anything.’

In a court document, Samantha, the daughter of Thomas Markle, Meghan’s father, claims the Meghan launched a ‘premeditated campaign to destroy’ her and her father’s reputation.

She claims her sister tried to ruin their credibility so ‘they could not interfere with or contradict the false narrative and fairy tale life story concocted by the defendant’.

She also alleges Meghan lied when she claimed she ‘essentially raised herself from virtual poverty’ and from 13 had to take on low-paying jobs to ‘make ends meet’.

Her lawyers said that Meghan saying she 'grew up as an only child' can't be false because it is a 'textbook example of a subjective statement about how a person feels about her childhood'

Her lawyers said that Meghan saying she ‘grew up as an only child’ can’t be false because it is a ‘textbook example of a subjective statement about how a person feels about her childhood’

The Sussex's lawyer hit back at the lawsuit (pictured), claiming it was 'baseless' and they would give it 'the minimum attention necessary'. Scobie also dismissed the claims'

The Sussex’s lawyer hit back at the lawsuit (pictured), claiming it was ‘baseless’ and they would give it ‘the minimum attention necessary’. Scobie also dismissed the claims’

Meanwhile Samantha, 57, launched an astonishing broadside on her sister’s friend and biographer Omid Scobie as she blasted Finding Freedom.

Samantha hits out at Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s book Finding Freedom, which she dubs her sister’s ‘fairytale life story’.

She claims the book caused ‘substantial and irreparable prejudice, injury, and harm’ to her reputation.

She listed a series of texts in the biography she disputes, including that she dropped out of high school.

Meghan’s lawyer has previously hit back at the lawsuit, claiming it was ‘baseless’ and they would give it ‘the minimum attention necessary’. Scobie also dismissed the claims. 

In their latest round of legal documents, Meghan’s attorneys slap down Samantha’s assertion that it was dishonest for Meghan to claim she grew up as an only child, claiming it is how she feels despite her technically having two half-siblings.

‘It is hard to imagine a more personal and subjective feeling than how one views their own childhood.

‘Moreover, Plaintiff’s opposition completely ignores the context of the statement, where Ms Winfrey asked Meghan about her ‘relationship’ with Plaintiff (to whom Ms Winfrey referred as her ‘half-sister on her father’s side’).

‘Meghan’s response to that question that she ‘grew up as an only child’ was obviously not meant to be a statement of objective fact that she had no genetic siblings or half-siblings.’

But Mr Sasson told Newsweek that his team intend to argue being an ‘only child’ is not subjective, adding: ‘Either you’re an only child or you’re not.’

He said as a result of the comments made by Meghan, his client was perceived as a ‘liar’ by the general population who accused her of ‘making up a story claiming that she was Meghan Markle’s sister when, indeed, she truly was’.

A young Meghan is pictured with her father Thomas Markle, from whom she is also estranged

A young Meghan is pictured with her father Thomas Markle, from whom she is also estranged

Meghan also dismisses Samantha’s complaints about information in Finding Freedom, a book by her friend Omid Scobie, saying Meghan can’t be held liable for its content because she didn’t write it.

One of the pieces of information reported to have been supplied by Meghan was that Samantha ‘lost custody of all three of her children from different fathers’. 

‘Meghan did not make the statements; she cannot be liable for them. It is that simple,’ her lawyers say.

Mr Sasson told Newsweek that they will argue Meghan ‘instructed’ that certain elements were included in the book.

Referring to the Duchess by her first name throughout the documents, her lawyers asked the court: ‘In sum, Meghan’s motion to dismiss should be granted, as should her request for attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief.’

The sisters are thought to have last seen each other in 2008 but they have butted heads over versions of their childhoods in recent years.

Samantha’s rocky relationship with Meghan exploded into public view after her sister’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced in 2017.

She was quoted by journalists as saying ‘The Queen would be appalled’ and called her a ‘ducha**’ on Twitter.

She gave numerous interviews attacking the Duchess but has since backtracked and complimented her.

Samantha also released a book about her sister last year titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister: A Memoir, Part One.

It lays bare claims about the Markles’ upbringing, including the rivalry when their father was still married to the actress’s mother Doria Ragland.

But Samantha also writes of her adoration for Meghan as a baby and described the infant as ‘bi-racial, beautiful, and was both the color of a peach, and a rose’.

A judge is set to rule on Meghan’s filing to have her half-sister’s lawsuit dismissed with no date set for when the ruling will be delivered. 

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