CANON CITY, Colo. (CBS4)– What was supposed to be a relocation of a mountain lion that climbed up a tree quickly turned into a pursuit involving wildlife officers. It seems the tranquilizer didn’t really work on the wild cat… at least at first.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Zach Holder keeps two syringes used to measure tranquilizer stuck into the roof of his truck for an emergency.

“In case we need to administer drugs to a wild animal” he said.

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On Wednesday he used them.

Kris Ray went out to her yard in Canon City and for the second time in two weeks saw a mountain lion in her tree.

“When I realized it was another cat, I thought I was seeing things,” said Ray.

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She called the police who called Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Holder, along with three other officers, came to get the tomcat. They used a cherry picker to tranquilize it and pull it down. Almost immediately, Holder knew something was off.

“He was holding on to the tree, he was flaring his claws out, pushing against the bucket,” said Holder.

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

The adrenaline in the cat’s system overrode the tranquilizer and the cat woke up.

“I knew when we got it to the ground it was going to be a ride for the officers on the ground,” said Holder.

Zach Holder (credit: CBS)

The mountain lion bit those two officers on the ground and tried to get away. Eventually the officers were able to get it into a bear trap and take it away.

“It was quite an eventful morning,” said Ray.

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The cat was released back into the mountains Thursday morning.

Kris says she’s seen deer in her yard and now believes the two lions were searching for them.

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She says that’s enough for her and her dogs, “I really hope it doesn’t happen again.”

CPW says if you have deer in your yard, you could have a mountain lion, too. They say to be careful when you go out into your yard especially at night. It helps to have a well-lit yard to prevent the cats from coming there in the first place. If you do suspect there’s a lion in your yard, you can use a car alarm to scare it off.

Michael Abeyta


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