Two Mountain Lions are Killed by New Mexico DGF

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The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services captured and killed a second mountain lion resulting from the search for the lion that killed a Pinos Altos man. The first lion was caught and killed June 24 and may have been the one that killed and partially ate 55-year-old Robert Nawojski June 17 or 18 near his Pinos Altos home.

"We knew from tracks that we had two lions in the area, and we wanted to be thorough," Department Conservation Officer Leon Redman said. He described the mountain lion killed Tuesday as a healthy 80- to 90-pound female. It was caught in a snare about a quarter-mile from the residential area in Pinos Altos. "We believe its tracks were seen in the Pinos Altos area," Redman said.

The lion was taken to the Veterinary Diagnostic Services laboratory in Albuquerque for a necropsy.

The capture of the second lion ended a search that began June 20 after Nawojski's body was found near a rock ledge about 60 yards from his home where he liked to frequent. Medical investigators later confirmed that Nawojski was killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion.

The lion captured June 24 was a healthy 138-pound male. A necropsy found two buckshot pellets in the lion's body, indicating it was the same lion wounded by a Department officer June 19 near Nawojski's home. A rabies test on the lion was negative.

Wildlife Services agents pulled all snares from the area Tuesday morning and called off searches with dogs.

To ensure public safety, snares were strategically placed on public land around Pinos Altos. Signs notifying the public of the snares were placed on area roads and trails and in public places. Unfortunately, the snares also caught a bear, a javelina and a horse.

A woman was thrown from her horse after it was caught in a snare. She and the horse received minor injuries. The bear was believed to be one that Department officers were trying to trap and relocate after reports it was a nuisance and safety hazard near the Bear Creek Cabins. The bear was feeding on a javelina caught in a snare when it became entangled in another snare. The bear was seriously injured by the snare and had to be euthanized.