OFFICERS CAPTURE, RELOCATE SANTA FE MOUNTAIN LION
SANTA FE -- A mountain lion that had been traveling through Santa Fe neighborhoods was captured Wednesday morning near Santa Fe High School and relocated to a remote part of the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico.
Brandon Griffith, a Department of Game and Fish depredation specialist, shot the lion with tranquilizer darts at 10 a.m. in an apple tree near the intersection of
Siringo Road and Calle Navidad, where it had been chased by dogs. The lion was taken to a veterinarian for treatment of a minor injury before it was transported to the release site.
Griffith described the lion as a mature, very healthy male weighing approximately 150 pounds. Although it apparently had spent at least a few days in a populated area, the lion was considered a candidate for relocation and release because it showed fear of humans in every encounter. He said he was confident the lion is the same one reported Tuesday near Cordova Road and Don Gaspar Avenue because a minor injury to its right front paw corresponded perfectly with tracks found Tuesday.
Although human-cougar encounters are relatively rare, the Department advises residents -- especially those in outlying areas -- to be aware of their surroundings and to take precautions to avoid encounters with large predators.
Lions generally are attracted to communities for food. They are most active from dusk to dawn, although they sometimes travel and hunt in daylight. Lions prefer to eat deer; however, they also kill elk, small mammals, livestock and a variety of domestic animals such as dogs and cats.
Anyone who sees a mountain lion that may be a threat to public safety is urged to call Game and Fish dispatch at (505) 827-9376 at any time. Sightings also can be reported at Department offices in Santa Fe, (505) 476-8000, or Albuquerque, (505) 222-4700, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information about mountain lions and living around large predators, please visit the Department Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, and check out the publication, Living with Large Predators in New Mexico.
TUNE IN TO NEW MEXICO GAME AND FISH TV:
“New Mexico Wildlife” 6:30 a.m. Saturdays on KASA Channel 2, Albuquerque
6:30 p.m. Sundays on KENW, Portales
7:30 p.m. Thursdays on KRWG, Las Cruces