Mountain lion euthanized after being discovered on hiking trail
Steamboat Pilot & Today
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A mountain lion discovered Tuesday afternoon on a popular Steamboat Springs trail was euthanized Tuesday evening by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers.
“Something was wrong with it,” area wildlife manager Kris Middledorf said.
Middledorf said a mountain biker was on the Morning Gloria Trail on Emerald Mountain when he discovered the animal at about 4 p.m.
“All of the sudden he came around the corner, hit his brakes and a mountain lion was on the trail,” Middledorf said.
An animal control officer from the city of Steamboat Springs responded to the scene in addition to a wildlife officer.
The animal was still partially on the trail and still breathing but would not respond to audible or physical stimuli.
“Best course was to euthanize it,” Middledorf said.
After removing the animal, a wildlife officer discovered the mountain lion had a wound on his right hip about an inch and a half in diameter. The hair around the wound was also missing.
Middledorf was not sure whether the animal was possibly shot or if the wound was the result of some sort of goring injury. The wound was not bleeding.
It was a smaller female mountain lion estimated to be about 2 years old.
The animal will be taken to Fort Collins, where a necropsy, which is the animal version of an autopsy, will be performed to determine the cause of death.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland
Facing traffic woes and oncoming growth, officials are looking at road improvements.