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Injured or sick mountain lion put down in Carbondale

Passers-by found an injured or sick male mountain lion lying under a bridge on North Bridge Drive in Carbondale's River Valley Ranch on Saturday. The cat
Nick Penzel / Contributed |

A young male mountain lion that was discovered by a passer-by lying under a bridge at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale on Saturday afternoon ultimately had to be put down, according to Carbondale Police and state wildlife officials.

Police were advised of the wild cat, estimated to be around 1 or 2 years old, at 2:40 p.m. Saturday, Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling said in a news release.

The mountain lion was lying under the bridge on North Bridge Drive next to the Crystal River, and was visible from the nearby wooden golf cart bridge, which is heavily used by pedestrians.

“The cat did not move when officers were only 15 feet away from it standing above it on the bridge, and he could only move his head,” Schilling said.

Officers contacted the local wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the decision was made to put the animal down.

Schilling said the cat appeared malnourished and had mange and sores on its body, so it was likely diseased.

“It was a very sick cat,” he said. “Division of Wildlife said there was no concern that the cat would infect humans or other animals.”

There is the possibility that the cat may have been hit by a vehicle, given its proximity to the street. Schilling said that any time a motorist has a collision with any large wildlife the person should contact law enforcement.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said it’s not uncommon that wildlife officers or police have to put down an injured or sick animal that has wandered into a populated area.


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