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Video shows Colorado wildlife officers dangling rope to rescue mountain lions from spillway

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers have been caught on video dangling a rope from a wall in their effort to save two young mountain lions at risk of drowning.

A video has captured Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers straddling a high wall and dangling a rope during their successful effort in rescuing two young mountain lions that had become trapped in a spillway. 

CPW’s Southwest Region said the rescue unfolded on Friday as officials were preparing to release water down the Vallecito Reservoir spillway outside of Durango. 

"A release of water likely would have drowned the two lions," it said, noting that the Pine River Irrigation District allowed its officers onto hydroelectric plant property to attempt the rescue. 

Video released by CPW then showed one of its officers dangling a rope from atop a wall and lifting one of the animals up from the spillway far below. 

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"The first mountain lion held onto the rope all the way to the top of the spillway barrier and quickly ran off into the woods. The second lion, however, wouldn’t hold onto the rope and ran down the spillway all the way to where the Los Pinos River continues below the dam," it said. "Unwilling to swim to reach the bank, the young lion continued to pace around at the water’s edge and moved into a corner of the spillway." 

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CPW says one of its officers then went down into the spillway himself and managed to get the mountain lion interested in the rope. 

"With the lion interested in the rope, CPW staff were also able to use a catch pole and all together we lifted the lion over the concrete wall and quickly released it. However, the lion decided to hide under a truck for a few minutes," it said. 

"After everyone backed off and it took time to regroup, the young lion ran off in the same direction as its sibling," CPW added. 

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