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Update: Mountain lion is found hiding in Cortez backyard

Young mountain lions, like this one shown in a file photo, can sometimes stray into towns. One was reported Friday on North Ash Street in Cortez. (Journal file photo)
Parks and Wildlife monitors situation; residents urged to keep pets and kids indoors

Cortez residents were warned Friday morning that a young mountain lion was spotted on North Ash Street downtown.

A Nixle warning from the Montezuma County Emergency Alert System advised nearby residents to keep pets and kids inside and to close doors.

The young lion was not acting aggressively, and the area was being monitored, said Adrian Archuleta, area wildlife manager of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The precise location of the lion was not disclosed.

A resident reported the lion north of Main Street and south of East North Street, said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.

CPW will consider options to relocate the lion if it does not move on, Archuleta said.

Possible actions include tranquilizing or trapping the lion for relocation.

A CPW officer reported spotting the head of the lion as it hid in a tight spot early Friday afternoon. Animal control and police officers blocked the alley to keep people away and give the lion space to move on.

“This is lion country. Seeing one in town is unusual. We are aware of the situation and have two officers assigned to monitor the area,” Archuleta said.

If the lion remains in the location Saturday, officials may try to capture and relocate it.

The lion is at least a year old. It is expected to move away from town as temperatures drop at night.

Residents should call 911 if they spot the lion, and are advised to not approach or disturb it.

For more information about mountain lions, visit the CPW website.

jmimiaga@the-journal.com