“She roamed the rough country near the Sweetwater Mountains in western Nevada. She feasted on mule deer and rabbits. And two years ago she died violently, as mountain lions in Nevada often do. Yet there is something about her life that sets her apart from other mountain lions, an unfortunate turn of events that illustrates the brutal and indiscriminate nature of fur trapping.
In Nevada, trapping mountain lions is illegal. This cat was trapped twice by mistake in traps set to catch bobcats. The second time, a state wildlife official snapped pictures. In one, she sits in a tree, snarling and defiant. In the photo above, she has been sedated and hangs helpless from a branch, her paw in a trap, before eventually being released. After that incident, trap-related injuries – including a mangled paw and missing claws – began to take a toll. Six feet long, she weighed only 75 pounds. She was in pain. She was hungry. And she was desperate. That is what led her to into the crosshairs of dangers, to a ranch where – unable to bring down natural prey – she began killing sheep and goats. And that is where a rancher shot and killed her on March 27, 2014. We know such details from documents and photos maintained by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “Very gaunt and thin,” wrote an official who investigated her death. “Left front foot badly damaged from recent trap season wound. Missing two toes. Left bottom canine recently broken.” -Tom Knudson, senior reporter.