Mountain lion rescue turns rogue in Cañon City


A mountain lion needed some help Wednesday after it got chased up a tree by a group of dogs in a residential area in Cañon City. 

“I have lived here for 23 years and never saw a mountain lion,” said Kris Ray, the owner of the property where the mountain lion was found. “Now I’ve seen two in three weeks,”

Ray said she walked out into her yard and saw the mountain lion up in one of her big trees. She believed her group of four dogs scared the lion up the tree, because it didn’t make any move to come down. She then phoned for help. 

“I watched from inside,” Ray said. “It was amazing how they tranquilized that thing. One little shot and bam.”

But the 120-pound cat didn’t come down easy. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, along with Cañon City officials, had a little wrestle with the cat after it woke up while they were moving it down the tree. 

“That mountain lion seemed to come to life, if you will,” said Zach Holder, District Wildlife Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “It started hissing at the wildlife officers and pinned its ears back.”

Holder said the cat’s adrenaline overcame the tranquilizer. He said the crews at the bottom of the tree got the brunt of it. The cat came to life and attempted to escape. 

“One of our officers was bitten on the forearm, and one of our wildlife officers had a claw that went into her calf,” said Holder.

Both officers are expected to be fine. 

The male mountain lion was taken to a remote area outside of the city, where it was released after the tranquilizer wore off. 

Holder said the main reason they have seen so many cats in that area lately is because of the influx of mule deer. They are just following their food source. He said in the fall they are planning a hunt for deer in that area to help reduce the number of cats that show up. 

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