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Someone found a mountain lion kitten, let it ‘thaw out’ and fed it bratwurst

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said if you find an orphan mountain lion, don't do what one person in Walsenburg did: bring it inside, let it "thaw out" and feed it sausage.
Credit: Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A mountain lion kitten has been sent to a rehabilitation center after Colorado Parks and Wildlife said someone claimed to have found it in a snowbank, took it inside to “thaw out” and apparently fed the wild animal bratwurst – which did not agree with its stomach.

The entire incident prompted CPW to distribute a news release telling people this is not the best idea, since apparently this is something that needed to be said.

“Wild animals do not need to ‘thaw out’ because they are equipped by nature to survive cold and snow,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Travis Sauder in the release.

Credit: Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

CPW first became aware of the incident, according to the news release, when the people who found the kitten published photos on social media on Monday showing it in a cage. They claimed they released it back into the wild, but Sauder found the animal inside their Walsenburg home on Tuesday.

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While apparently sick from eating bratwurst, Sauder said it appeared to be in good health otherwise and has been taken to the Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Wetmore.

The kitten was under six months old and wildlife officials believe it had not yet been weened from its mother’s milk and in fact, may have only been eating regurgitated solids from its mothers.

The people who found the kitten said they found it in the snowbank after a snowplow passed by.

Credit: Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

"If you find wildlife you believe to be orphaned, leave the area immediately and call CPW,” Sauder said in the news release. “By leaving the area, mom will feel safe to come back and retrieve her young.

“Many animals intentionally leave their young behind when startled, relying on the built-in camouflage of the youngsters’ spotted fur to keep them safe. The mother will then return to retrieve its young once the area is safe.”

Sauder said if you find orphaned wildlife, call CPW immediately. They’ll bring it to a licensed rehabilitation center which will prepare the animal to return to the wild.