Colorado Wildlife Officers Rescue Two Mountain Lion Cubs Trapped In Dam Spillway Just Moments Before Water Was To Be Released

mountain lion rescue
Colorado Parks & Wildlife SW

Two mountain lion cubs are lucky someone did one final check of a dam spillway in Colorado before opening the water gates.

If a staffer from the dam hadn’t double checked the Vallecito Reservoir in southwest Colorado, two mountain lions that were trapped inside would have likely drowned. The reservoir was about to be opened, which would have sent water rushing down the spillway where the animals were resting.

Thankfully, the opening of the reservoir was halted, and wildlife officers jumped into action to save the day for these two scared wild cats.

Once the two small “big cats” (sorry I know that’s confusing) were spotted, wildlife staffers had to figure out a way to get them out. The tall walls of the spillway made it difficult for the mountain lions to get out on their own, and no officer was going to risk getting down in there with two anxious wild animals.

So District Wildlife Manager Ty Smith got to thinking, and came up with a plan that’s basically out of any house cat owner’s playbook: Dangle some rope in front of it. The plan might have seemed far-fetched, but it worked like a charm for one of the cubs who grabbed on and was lifted up to safety.

As for the other mountain lion cub, it wasn’t going to ascend up the rescue rope. It decided to run the other direction and trotted all the way down to the end of the spillway. The small animal stayed by the water’s edge, and apparently kept a close eye on those who were trying to help it.

Eventually, the wildlife officers felt as though they had no choice but to go down into the spillway with the mountain lion. So Officer Smith put on a brave face once again and calmly walked over to the mountain lion. As you can see below, the rope came in handy once again.

Eventually they were able to catch the young mountain lion with a rope pole and pull it out of the spillway. It was eventually released in the same area as its sibling. The entire story was covered by a local news station, and the video can be seen below:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock