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Mountain lion found in north Las Vegas Valley euthanized

A mountain lion found in a residential area in the far north Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday had to be euthanized, officials said.

Nevada Department of Wildlife officials were called Tuesday morning to the area of Midnight Falls Street and Horse Drive, near the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, after receiving a report of a mountain lion sighting, department spokesman Doug Nielsen said.

Nielsen said the large cat was in “pretty bad shape,” and officials estimated it weighed 50 percent of what it should.

“Trying to put that through a tranquilizing and relocating process would not be beneficial to the animal in any way, shape or form, so it was euthanized,” he said.

No injuries were reported. Nielsen said department officials try to relocate mountain lions when possible on a case-by-case basis.

“This one, based on the description, was probably one of the worst situations that we’ve seen as far as cat health goes,” he said.

With increasing development on the outskirts of the valley and current drought conditions, wildlife sightings are becoming more common. Nielsen said when most people report mountain lions, it’s usually either a false sighting or the cat moves on by the time officials get to the area.

Officials finding a mountain lion in a residential area that will not move is rare, but it happens a few times a year. However, Nielsen said has noticed more reports recently compared with the rest of his 25-year career.

“Anecdotally, I would say that it’s probably one of the two busiest years for mountain lion reports,” he said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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