A juvenile mountain lion that was seen hanging around Durango neighborhoods has been captured and relocated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The lion was reportedly seen in yards along the base of College Mesa near Eighth Street and Ninth Street in late June. It was also reported near Florida Road and East Third Avenue. And on June 24, it was seen in a heavily vegetated area near the base of a retaining wall for Florida Road and the south end of the Island Cove Mobile Home Park, said Adrian Archuleta, area wildlife manager for CPW in Durango.
Wildlife officers were able to tranquilize the lion and move it to an area near Salida, he said.
The cougar wasn’t doing anything overly concerning, but was in a heavily populated area that walkers and bikers frequent, prompting wildlife officials to relocate it, Archuleta said.
He speculated that the young male was “probably kicked loose from its mother ... and was trying to set up shop up in town.”
“Hopefully, it’s living in a better environment,” Archuleta said.
The mountain lion was originally reported to be hanging around along the Animas River Trail, but it was actually on the other side of the river from the trail, he said.
He said CPW received a number of mountain lion sightings this summer, but this one was concerning because it was getting into yards and active during the day, which is not normal behavior for cougars.
CPW is promoting an educational video series about mountain lions on its YouTube page. In Colorado, population estimates range from 3,000 to 7,000 lions.
In 2020, CPW approved the West Slope Mountain Lion Management Plan. The plan revises and consolidates 13 older lion management plans that cover the western part of Colorado into one overarching plan that manages lions at a larger scale.