Mountain Lion Gambling
No, we are not talking about the latest Apple software update, nor even making a witty pun. An actual mountain lion was seen attempting to bet in USA last week, as it tried to sneak into a casino in Reno, Nevada, after escaping from the nearby University of Nevada where it was fitted with a tracking collar as part of a new study being conducted there.
Most big cats tend to try and avoid areas of high human traffic, but not so for this beast. Apparently the bright lights of the casinos can attract some unlikely visitors: after being released into the Carson Range, above Lake Tahoe, it apparently followed the Truckee River and made its way to the gambling house, trying to go through the revolving door at Harrah’s.
Those revolving doors can get the best of us though, and for this two year old male cougar they proved a little too difficult. He retreated to huddle up under the outdoor stage where he was spotted during the early breakfast rush, and animal experts were brought in to remove him from the scene. The Nevada Department of Wildlife was represented by Chris Healy, who described the encounter as “almost the equivalent of being a stupid teenager”, relating to the fact that cougars can act like this if they are chased out of their own territory by mature adult cats. No one was injured by the young male, fortunately for him, and he was released after being tranquilised and being moved back to where he should have been in the first place. The tracking collar will find out if he makes a move back to the city again, with Healy describing it as the “best case scenario” that he stays out in the wilderness where he belongs rather than attempting to come back in to Reno and hit those slot machines.
Perhaps he just wanted to check out those betting odds, but unfortunately we may never know the answer to what a mountain lion’s favourite table game is. The unfortunate animal has been warned: if it shows up in Reno again, it is likely to be euthanized, so we are hoping it sees sense and stays away. Perhaps if it waits a few months, it will be able to get its paws on some online poker instead once the first casinos start hosting their own sites!