DOW puts down injured lion
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE ” A wildlife officer shot and killed a mountain lion Monday evening after a motorist struck the animal and dragged it off the road, and it then wandered off.
The lion was hit on Highway 6 west of New Castle around 8:30 p.m. Monday. Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said authorities killed it because of the proximity of homes and schools.
“What we didn’t want was an injured lion showing up in a day or two, because they can be very aggressive at that point,” he said.
He said he’s not sure the lion would have survived anyway. It apparently suffered a significant neck injury when it was hit, he said.
The animal apparently was stunned or unconscious after being hit, allowing the driver to move it off the highway, Hampton said.
“He knew it was alive. He didn’t have any way to put it down at the time,” Hampton said. “He did the right thing by contacting us.”
Two DOW officers responded, along with the Colorado State Patrol and New Castle police. By the time they arrived, the lion had managed to rouse itself and had left the scene, leaving a blood trail behind. Officers contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, asking the agency to bring out lion hounds and hunt and kill the lion.
However, DOW officers ended up tracking down the lion quickly on their own, following the blood trail using flashlights and spotting the animal in some brush.
“They could see sort of the eye glow; it started toward them down the hill,” he said.
At that point, one of the officers shot the animal.
Hampton said the lion was a female that wasn’t nursing.
“There has been a lion that has been seen in that area that had two kittens with it. I don’t know if this is the same lion or not,” he said.
He said if any young lions show up in the area, people should contact the DOW.
Hampton said the DOW appreciated the assistance of the CSP and State Patrol.
“An injured animal can be dangerous, so it was good to have them out there with us and in this particular situation everything worked out.”
Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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