When a large cougar got its paw caught in a hunting trap, it was up to these rescuers to save it.
The trap was meant to catch bobcats in the Pine Valley Mountains in southern Utah, which is apparently overrun with the big cats. This passing cougar had the misfortune of getting its paw stuck.
Department of Wildlife Resources conservation officer Mark Ekins said he often responds to such events — It’s against the law to intentionally trap a cougar in the state of Utah. If a trapper discovers a mountain lion in their trap, they are legally required to release the animal and report it to DWR officials within 48 hours.
Trappers are discouraged from attempting to release accidentally-caught cougars themselves. “It could be a potentially dangerous situation,” Ekins report to KSL. “Anytime they feel uncomfortable at all, we’d definitely rather them call us and allow us to help them rather than take a chance of injuring an animal.”
While many of the larger cougars are able to pull out of the traps and free themselves, sometimes help is required to safely release the animal. Ekins said they “prefer to use animal tranquilizer darts when possible… but tranquilizers have to be kept in a main DWR office”, and thus in remote areas like this, rescuers must use old fashioned methods.
Watch the intense rescue below: