Mountain lion killed near Glenwood |

Mountain lion killed near Glenwood

Dale ShrullGlenwood Springs correspondent

A small and emaciated mountain lion was killed near Canyon Creek just off of Highway 6 Monday. Division of Wildlife officials believe the animal could be the same lion spotted in West Glenwood in late August.”Based on the structure of that cat’s ear [notches in its left ear] we believe, but we cannot say with any certainty, that it is the same cat that was in West Glenwood,” said DOW spokesman Randy Hampton.It’s not rare for mountain lions to cover a lot of territory. Hampton estimates the backcountry distance between West Glenwood and Canyon Creek at about 5 miles.On Saturday, at about 4:30 p.m., a resident in the Canyon Creek area found a lion sitting on top of her dead dog and contacted DOW. The dog had been partially buried by the lion on the bank of an irrigation ditch.On Monday, members of the Wildlife Services branch of the United States Department of Agriculture were called to track the mountain lion with dogs. The dogs quickly picked up the lion’s scent from where the dog had been buried.Hampton said the dogs treed the lion about 100 yards away.”They do predator control,” Hampton said of the agriculture-based Wildlife Services branch. “They’re very good at tracking lions; they are the experts.”After the lion was treed, Hampton said authorities quickly assessed the condition of the lion and decided to put the lion down by shooting it.”Because of the condition of the cat we made the decision to kill the cat,” Hampton said.Hampton said the 2-year-old lion weighed less than 50 pounds. A healthy 2-year-old lion can weigh up to 120 pounds.Mountains lions are not automatically killed in these situations, Hampton said.”We live in mountain lion habitat and these things happen from time to time. But that’s not to say that every lion is going to be put down,” he added.The DOW received a call last week about a lion in a shed in the Canyon Creek area. Another resident also has reported that their dog is missing.There were several reports of mountain lion activity in late August, including a possible attack on a domestic cat up Mitchell Creek. West Glenwood resident Angie Majers photographed a small lion scratching at her door.At that time, Hampton said he thought the small lion was likely the same mountain lion that was spotted around West Glenwood.Hampton said autumn is when they traditionally receive a lot of calls for mountain lion sightings.”In the early winter, when the snow starts to set in, the deer move down to the valleys, and the lions follow their prey,” he said.The dead mountain lion will be sent to Fort Collins to be tested for diseases.

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