Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Vanished mountain lion baffles Colo. troopers

By Marilyn Robinson, News Correspondent
March 23, 2007

The case of the disappearing mountain lion has state troopers perplexed.

A northbound Jeep hit the mountain lion about 6:20 a.m. Thursday on U.S. 285 at Parmalee Gulch Road in Jefferson County.

The woman driving the Jeep pulled over a short distance down the road to report the mishap, said Master Trooper Ron Watkins.

A trooper found the cat on the highway and pulled it to the side of the road, then went to talk to the motorist.

But when the trooper returned to where he left the cat, it was gone, Watkins said.

So, wonders Watkins, was the cat just knocked unconscious and took off or did someone pick it up and haul if off?

"If somebody did that, we have a bit of a problem," Watkins said, explaining that action would require the Division of Wildlife be notified.

There was no question that it was a mountain lion that was hit, and the trooper said he thought it was dead, Watkins said.

But at least one person reported seeing the lion's tail wagging after it was hit, he said.

Mountain lions are rarely hit on the state's highways.

"In my 30-plus years on the patrol, I have investigated probably four cases," said Watkins.

He asked that anyone who may have seen the lion or picked it up contact authorities.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/ article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5437458,00.html

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