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Parks and Wildlife seizes baby mountain lion that fell ill after people fed it bratwurst

Posted at 7:53 AM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 10:07:54-05
Baby mountain lion
Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

WALSENBURG – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is issuing a warning after officers seized a baby mountain lion from a home in Walsenburg Tuesday.

CPW said the baby lion, which was less than 6 months old,  was sick after being fed bratwurst when it was not yet weaned from its mother’s milk.

The kitten is now being cared for at the Wetmore Rehabilitation Center in Wetmore. However, due to the fact it had been 30 hours since it was taken from the area, it will not be able to be reunited with its mother. This latest story serves as another reminder for Coloradans to leave young wildlife alone, even when it’s cold and when it appears the animal was abandoned.

“Many animals intentionally leave their young behind when startled, relying on the built-in camouflage of the youngsters’ spotted fur to keep them safe.”  Travis Sauder, CPW district wildlife manager. “The mother will then return to retrieve its young once the area is safe.”

CPW said the people who kept the kitten in their home claimed they found it in a snowbank after snow plow drove by.  Those people also claimed they released the animal back into the wild in a post on social media, but it was still at their home when officers investigated on Tuesday.

“It had been almost 30 hours since it was picked up Monday and its mom would not be in the area any longer,” Sauder said. “This is why it’s vital to leave baby wildlife where you find them and call us immediately.”

Parks and Wildlife also said wild animals are “equipped by nature” to live and survive in cold temperatures.

If you disturb wildlife, you can face a fine or possible jail time depending on the severity of the offense.