Should you wanted a reminder that mountain lions are by no means to be underestimated, right here’s one. On Jan. 12, Travis Legler was serving to biologists from the Arizona Sport and Fish Division (AZGFD) monitor lions for analysis functions when an epic scene unfolded— and he captured all of it on video.  

Legler is a hound coach. That morning, a few of his younger canines pinned a feminine cat in a small canyon crack throughout a coaching session. He left the cat together with his canines and as they returned to the truck, he obtained a satellite tv for pc telephone ping from an AZGFD biologist he knew. The biologist requested him to convey him and a colleague again to the cat so they might dart and collar it for scientific analysis.  

“We left the canines within the truck and hiked again all the way down to that spot to seek out the place the monitor was main. Then we had been going to convey a pair older canines out to path and catch it once more,” Legler tells Discipline & Stream. However they didn’t need to. The cat was in the identical place Legler had left it that morning. The AZGFD biologist retrieved his tranquilization tools and rappelling ropes from his truck and returned to dart the lion.  

That’s when issues took a flip for the more serious. Legler’s video footage exhibits what occurred subsequent: One of many biologists fires a dart on the cat, which is so deep within the rocky crevasse you possibly can’t see it at first. A second later, you possibly can hear a growl, and the cat launches itself out of the slot canyon within the air, simply toes from the biologist’s head. The cat then jumps proper at Legler, who shouts at it a few instances when it will get freakishly shut. 

“What you possibly can’t see within the video is I’m standing on a two-foot ledge with a 150-foot cliff behind me,” says Legler. “So, if that cat hit me, each of us would most likely fall over it and neither of us would’ve survived. That’s why I growled at it—to maintain it from coming my means.”  

 Legler’s tactic appeared to work. The video concludes with the mountain lion loping off down a rocky draw, the place it fell asleep. The biologists had been ready to make use of the rope to decrease themselves all the way down to the cat, which was a 2- or 3-year-old feminine. They collared it, after which reversed the tranquilization.  

“[The mountain lion] wasn’t injured,” says Legler. “We watched her rise up and stroll off. Sometimes, once they’re tranquilized like that, they’ll stroll off a brief distance and discover one other place to put up whereas they collect their wits and go about their enterprise.” 

Learn Subsequent: The Lion Canine 

Mountain lions, which roam a lot of North America, are repeatedly treed and sedated with the assistance of volunteer houndsmen. This incident is an instance of the dangers some scientists and volunteer hunters will courageous to review and protect the enduring species. 

“Mountain lion hunters and houndsmen are below assault on nearly a every day foundation from totally different teams,” explains Legler. “With out having organic information, it will be exhausting for sport businesses to make educated choices on the searching or non-hunting of mountain lions. It’s necessary for me to pitch in as a result of I really like coaching monitoring canines. If I might help maintain the game, I’m going to do the whole lot I can to take action.”  

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