Here you will find posts offering the environmental version of ‘what would you do.” There are no right, nor wrong answers of course--we just hope to challenge your perspective and encourage discussion on related scenarios that will test your ethical nature. Please feel free to add one of your own nature-related situations! We would love to join in the discussion :)

Now, what would you do...

Jun 3, 2010

Mountain Lion Killed For Eating Deer, Not Dog

June 03, 2010
Kathy Davis, Times Reporter

A young mountain lion that built a den in the brush on River Street in Buena Vista had to be shot because it already had an orange tag in its ear, Division of Wildlife manager Randy Hancock said June 1. The mountain lion was under a year old and weighed about 80 pounds, Hancock said. A little over two weeks ago, the mountain lion was seen in a subdivision in Chalk Creek. Chalk Creek residents contacted Salida DOW manager Rob Dobson. Dobson was able to walk right up to the mountain lion, Hancock said. The mountain lion was tranquilized, tagged and moved to more native country in the Fourmile Travel Management Area.

A couple of weeks ago, the mountain lion made its way to Buena Vista and killed a deer in an area along Cottonwood Creek just off Railroad Avenue. The mountain lion made a den in the brush near the deer carcass.

About a week ago, Dee Warner of Manitou Springs was visiting her aunt Jody Grieb, who lives on River Street. The two were cleaning in Grieb's garage when they heard Warner's dog, a standard poodle, bark. Grieb and Warner went to check on the dog and saw the mountain lion standing on three paws with one paw ready to swipe at the dog, Warner said. The dog had wandered toward the deer carcass and the lion "was trying to protect its food," Warner said. The mountain lion hissed at the dog, she said. Warner's dog returned to the Grieb residence when Warner called it. Warner later drove down the alley near River Street and saw the location of the deer carcass and the mountain lion's den. She contacted DOW.

Hancock said when he saw the orange tag in the mountain lion's ear, he contacted supervisors and was told to "put it down."

* * * * *
According to the Mountain Lion Foundation,
the young lion was seen along a narrow greenbelt in Chaffee County that connects two large mountain ranges (Gunnison and San Isabel National Forests). The cougar had set up a temporary den near his deer kill beside Cottonwood Creek.

Did the Colorado Division of Wildlife respond too drastically?
What should be considered before decided the fate of the lion, kill vs. relocation?
How would you feel if your family lived in this location?

Please share your thoughts :)


  1. Lions don't relocate well. They are territorial, the lion whose territory it is put in would simply kill it or drive it away.

    I came to this blog via my google web filter which culls for the mention of mountain lion. Every week there are many many newspaper reports of police responding to lions enterinbg towns in California.

    I like cats, and I like being in the woods and seeing the same cat make the same tracks in the snow on different days as it makes it's rounds of the edges of it's territory. Mountain lions make the woods more interesting. But once they lose their shyness they should be put down. Lions are a part of the wild world, not a diversion for us to look at like the tame deer in many towns. Actually the deer are the reason for the lions, they follow prey.

  2. Hi somchai, thank you for your thoughtful post, you make some very important points. You are lucky to be in tune with the woods around you. Sounds a wonderful treat to be in the quiet company of wildness and hold appreciation (vs. fear) of the cat's territory.