A mountain lion hiding in a backyard of a residence in downtown Cortez has moved on.
The young lion was spotted Friday morning by a resident who said it was “just sitting and staring” at 34 N. Ash St. a block north of Main Street, said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.
Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Cortez Police responded and discovered it “in a tight spot” in the backyard, said wildlife officer Adrian Archuleta.
The alley was blocked off to give the lion space, and by Saturday morning it had moved on, he said. There have been no reported sightings since then.
When it was first reported Friday morning, a Nixle warning from the Montezuma County Emergency Alert System advised nearby residents to keep pets and kids inside and to close doors.
The lion was not acting aggressively, CPW reported.
“They are neat to see. I’ve only seen one in the wild,” said a neighbor who declined to be identified.
CPW opted to give the lion a chance to leave on its own, figuring it was waiting for lower temperatures and the cover of darkness.
If it had not left by Saturday morning, CPW would have considered capturing it for relocation by using a tranquilizer gun or setting up a trap.
An initial Nixle report was that the lion was a cub. It appeared to be older than one year, said CPW spokesman John Livingston.
“Mountain lions are territorial and have to find their own space, and so it’s usually the younger lions we see pop up in more unusual spaces,” he said.