Mountain lion shot near New Castle
Vail, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE ” A wildlife officer shot and killed a mountain lion Monday evening after a motorist struck the animal and dragged it off the road, and it then wandered off.
The lion was hit on Highway 6 west of New Castle around 8:30 p.m. Monday.
Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said authorities killed it because of the proximity of homes and schools.
“What we didn’t want was an injured lion showing up in a day or two, because they can be very aggressive at that point,” he said.
He said he’s not sure the lion would have survived anyway. It apparently suffered a significant neck injury when it was hit, he said.
The animal apparently was stunned or unconscious after being hit, allowing the driver to move it off the highway, Hampton said.
“He knew it was alive. He didn’t have any way to put it down at the time,” Hampton said. “He did the right thing by contacting us.”
By the time wildlife officers arrived, the lion had roused itself and had left the scene, leaving a blood trail behind. The officers followed the blood trail using and spotted the animal in some brush.
“They could see sort of the eye glow, it started toward them down the hill,” he said.
At that point, one of the officers shot the animal. Hampton said the lion was a female that wasn’t nursing.
“There has been a lion that has been seen in that area that had two kittens with it. I don’t know if this is the same lion or not,” he said.