Sick Mountain Lion Euthanized After Killing Dog in Residential Area

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

A  mountain lion was euthanized this week after it killed a dog in Evergreen, Colorado, but authorities said the killing wasn’t what warranted its death. Rather, it was the sick condition of the wild animal.

According to Thedenverchannel.com, Colorado Parks and Wildlife received a call on Monday from a person who said a mountain lion had attacked a dog in Evergreen.

Jason Clay with CPW said the pet owner was outside with his dog, which was off-leash, so it could go the bathroom. The dog ran around a corner of the house and the owner said he heard what sounded like the dog had fallen and yelped. When the man walked around to see what had happened, he saw that a mountain lion had jumped on top of the dog and killed it.

Wildlife officers located the mountain lion not long after the incident. Two of the officers were able to tranquilize the animal and take it to one of the CPW facilities near Fairplay to examine it.

Ultimately, CPW staff decided euthanasia was the best option, based on the mountain lion’s condition and emaciation.

Clay said the animal was not put down because it had killed a dog, but because a veterinarian said it would be in the mountain lion’s best interest.

"Given its condition, they said it likely would not survive the winter," he said. 

He said CPW wildlife officials don't like to see animals put down, as they work hard to save many species of animals each year. 

"But it is not always the case where everyone can be saved or relocated or taken to a rehabilitation facility," he said.

The vets will perform a necropsy to see if they can learn anything more about its condition. The area where the mountain lion was found has tons of prey options, Clay said. Mountain lions can take down deer, elk and moose, or smaller animals like raccoons, and there is no shortage of prey in the area where the animal was found. The necropsy may provide an answer as to why the mountain lion wasn’t successful in its hunts.

“It is a tough situation and mountain lions — all wildlife for that matter — lead tough lives in tough conditions,” he said. “We wish every wildlife story had a happy ending, but that just is not the case.”

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