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Wildlife in Chaffee County

Salida Record, June 14, 1904: Some boys playing in an up-town alley found a dead centipede a few days ago. It was not generally supposed that any of these deadly creatures existed in this climate and if one was ever seen alive and at large here no report was ever made of it. it is possible that the dead one found was thrown out of a specimen jar.

Salida Record, Sept. 23, 1904: The hearts of the hunters about town were caused to beat faster than usual by the sight of a black bear being hauled into town by John Jay.

The bear and her two half grown cubs were seen near Maysville Sunday by W. W. Champ, Clay Cromwell and Earl Wilkins. Several shots were fired before the old bear was hit. After the old bear was killed the party made an effort to capture the two cubs alive but one of them escaped and the other was killed. The carcass of the old bear was brought into town and sold to Hutchinson's market and a part of it served to the Gold Bug party of investors at the St. Clair hotel.

Salida Mail, April 4, 1928: Mrs. Byrd Fuqua has returned from the Glenwood Lion Hunt and reports a wonderful time, despite the warm weather that spoiled the hunt.

Believing that she could get the lion at Mr. Harvard that has had free reign for over a year in the deer and mountain sheep herds and has been terrorizing the ranchers of north Cottonwood, she took a sportsman's chance and brought her Glenwood guide and dogs back with her. They have been scouring the territory and have found evidence of big game.

They intend to stick to the hunt until the lion has been bagged.They plan to take the lion alive and ship it to the St. Louis Zoo.The hunters who are staying at the foot of the mountains are Miss Anna Donley, Melvin Bay, Lee Dillon and a Paramount movie camera man.

Salida Mail, April 29, 1929: One and a quarter million of rainbow trout will be hatched at the Frantzhurst Trout Farm this year to supply the market in 1930. Figuring the average loss of young fish it is expected that these eggs will produce 600,000 pounds of fish in a year which will be worth a half million dollars. This is an idea of magnitude of a business that has sprung up in Salida.

Salida Daily Mail-Record, May 25, 1954: Sixteen of Salida's best salesmen are dead, Charles Thomson, Chamber of Commerce manager, reported Thursday morning. The "salesmen" are the fish in the pool on the Chamber grounds at Third and F streets. Thomson relates that the fish put in the pond last summer died at the end of the season from undetermined causes.

C.E. McMath, fish culture expert who is managing Frantzhurst Fish Farm, maintains the fish died from the chlorine in the water, and cites the low death rate of fish at the farm and also in the Costello tourists court ponds. C. L. Glenn, city water commissioner, said there isn't any more chlorine than in years past and the fish hadn't died before. Insufficient oxygen was blamed for the loss last fall so this spring fewer and smaller fish were put into the pond--and they died. Thomson said 16 fish were put in the pond tuesday, with 4 dying Wednesday and the other 12 floating top-side down this morning. Thomson says the fish were a terrific tourist attraction.

The Mountain Mail, April 8, 1979: A mountain lion escaped from his cage in Poncha Springs but was recaptured a short time later on its owner's property. Wildlife Conservation Officer Ken Wagner said he received a call around 5:30 p.m. yesterday from Walter Banner, who works for John Norris, owner of the mountain lions. Banner told him a lion had escaped the cage, and he had turned dogs loose to tree the big cat, and asked Wagner to get a tranquilizer gun so that they could get the lion down. "Turning the dogs loose was a good idea," Wagner said, "that was the best say he could have kept the cat from going anywhere." While the cat was treed, Wagner attemped to run down a tranquilizer gun, and called Norris, who was in Chicago, to see about dosages.

"It's pretty hard to run down a gun on short notice, " the WCO said, "so I decided to go out there and check the situation out." When he arrived at 7 p.m. at Norris's place, "the guy ran out to me and said 'You're not going to believe this, but we got the cat out of the tree.'"

Wagner said Banner had apparently run a rope with a loop on the end through a piece of pipe, to make it rigid, and has snared the cat while the dogs kept the feline in the tree. Norris has a license from the Colorado Division of Wildlire to keep mountain lions. He is still facing litigation following an incident last year where a lion was loose in the Colorado Springs airport.

The Mountain Mail, July 9, 1979: Betty Worden was not seeing things on July 5 when she was driving in the location of Co. Rd. 140 and U.S. 285. She reported she saw a mountain lion lying in a barrow ditch located betweeen the Padoven and Norris residences in that vicinity. When contacted, John Norris, owner of the animal, said his female cougar had gotten loose. He said she had gotten loose a number of times in the past, but always returned home. Wildlife Conservation officer Willie Travnicek contact Norris and gave him 10 days to secure the cats or have them confiscated.

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