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8:35am — Magdalena’s Living Zoo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Workers startled this week by a young mountain lion sitting in a tree near City Hall.


Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley was summoned early Monday morning to City Hall where workers spotted a 70-pound yearling male mountain lion sitting in a nearby tree, El Defensor Chieftain reported this week.

Cearley told the paper he tried to keep the lion in the tree till help arrived, but the young lion was spooked by the growing crowds and took off to the southeast.

"I followed the phone calls and the screams to Second Street where the lion ran past Dennis Aldrich and Bobby Mexicano at the United States Forest Service," Cearley told El Defensor Chieftain.

The lion then began running toward Magdalena schools, but was unable to jump a fence and came to rest in an abandoned pigpen, Cearley said.


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Game and Fish Sgt. Bobby Griego arrived at the scene and shot the lion with a tranquilizer dart and the young big cat was released into the wild north of Magdalena, El Defensor Chieftain said.

It was Magdalena's second brush with wildlife in recent weeks, the paper said.

A 150-pound black bear climbed a utility pole on June 17, causing a power outage, but the bear didn't survive the encounter, El Defensor Chieftain reported.