A 60-pound mountain lion was found hiding under the bridge of a Colorado house after the family’s cat sniffed it, officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said.
The big wildcat was first discovered last Thursday night at a home in Englewood, a town about 10 miles south of Denver. Authorities were called home after Lily Rutledge-Ellison’s cat Wesley sniffed the large animal while walking outside.
“We were walking with him, and he went under the bridge and came jumping with a really bushy tail,” Rutledge-Ellison told local news station KDVR.
Rutledge-Ellison said her boyfriend then went to check under the bridge and found the wild animal staring back at him.
“I was like, ‘In Englewood? No way.’ That’s why I really didn’t believe it was a mountain lion. Maybe I was thinking of a bobcat, “Rutledge-Ellison told the news channel.
Officers came to the house around 9 p.m. that evening and tranquilized the animal for safe removal from the bridge, CPW said in a statement. Rutledge-Ellison said the lion’s removal from the mountains took about five hours.
“Everyone was very nice. They were really trying to be as safe as possible for everyone,” she told KDVR.
The CPW estimated that the puma was around two years old and may be looking for shade or a food source. Authorities said the animal’s body was in good condition when it was discovered.
“The reason we chose to tackle this mountain lion was because it was so deep in the heart of the city,” Matt Martinez, area wildlife manager, said in a statement. “We are pleased that this operation went smoothly for this neighborhood and for the Mountain Lion. We would like to thank the Englewood Police Department and Code Enforcement for helping us get this lion out safely. . “
After the cougar was safely removed from under the bridge, CPW said it was released to “more suitable habitat” on Friday in Douglas County.
Video from the release shows the lioness springing from the transport trailer and back into the wild.
CPW said the mountain lion could have been the same animal officials were told about earlier this month.
On July 6, a mountain lion was spotted about 10 miles south of Englewood and may have sailed north to the family bridge, although authorities said there was no way of knowing if that had happened.
The CPW said that while pumas are generally calm and do not attack humans, they sometimes come to urban areas to find food sources, which can include deer, skunks, raccoons, pets or livestock. Individuals are encouraged to contact the agency if a puma is spotted outside of a natural habitat.
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