Mountain lion found dead in lake |

Mountain lion found dead in lake

Gregory Crofton

A dead but perfectly preserved mountain lion was scooped from Marla Bay Sunday afternoon by the captain of a casino boat.

The crew lugged the 150-pound female from the boat to a pier at Round Hill Pines Resort where it stayed until game wardens showed up. A small crowd circled to observe its glassy green eyes, matted rich brown fur and legs that seemed frozen in a small stride.

Wardens carted the animal back to their pickup in an orange wheelbarrow. They were not sure what killed the animal.

“Drowning would be my guess,” said Nevada Division of Wildlife Game Warden Carl Lackey. “There are plenty of mountain lions up here. She might have been chasing something. She doesn’t look injured in any way.”

The captain of “Odyssey,” a boat owned by Caesars Tahoe that takes casino customers back and forth to Emerald Bay, said he spotted the lion at 11:30 a.m. floating about a quarter-of-a-mile from Elk Point.

“First time we passed it, it looked like a dog,” said Captain Steve Sudela. “It’s the strangest thing I’ve seen since I saw a bear swimming across Emerald Bay in 1989.”

Sudela, who has worked on the Odyssey for 15 years, said he made a couple of more trips to Emerald Bay before they pulled the carcass onto their boat at 2:40 p.m.

“We figured it would drift this way. We found it right outside the buoy pattern,” Sudela said.

The wardens had not decided if they would skin the animal before they disposed of it, or just lay it in the hills to be eaten.

Lackey said if they skinned it, the hide would be auctioned.

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