STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Tests have confirmed how an Emerald Mountain lion got sick to the point where it had to be euthanized.
The lion was found June 5 on the Morning Gloria trail.
A necropsy report conducted by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Wildlife Health Lab indicated the mountain lion was unresponsive to human presence or stimulation.
The lion was biting at vegetation and sticks nearby but did not try to get up. The lion was a female between 1 and 2 years old.
<div class=”swift-ad-wrapper”> After euthanizing and transporting it back to a truck, a wildlife officer noticed it had a two-centimeter wound on its right hip, but there was no evidence of a gunshot.</div>
At the time of the necropsy, the carcass smelled slightly like skunk.
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The stomach was full of large-diameter sticks and twigs, as well as grass and other plant material.
After the necropsy and once test results came back, it was determined the lion was suffering from a neurologic disease.
Hemorrhages were found in the lion’s brain, which could have been caused by bacterial infection. There was also inflammation of the heart muscle.
It is believed the wound on the hip got infected, and it spread to other parts of the body.
The findings for this case were classified as unusual, and other causes of disease were considered.
The animal tested negative for rabies, plague, feline immune deficiency virus and exposure to pesticides and insecticides.