Third mountain lion attack in Grand Lake this season

Stock image of a mountain lion
Stock image of a mountain lion(Pixabay)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:20 PM MST
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GRAND LAKE, Colo. (KJCT) - Colorado Parks and Wildlife are warning residents and visitors in Grand Lake of increased mountain lion activity after the third incident occurred on Monday.

At approximately 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, CPW was alerted to an incident involving a resident and their dog. The dog and their owner were returning from a morning walk when the mountain lion lunged and grabbed the dog off the porch steps. The dog owner was able to scare the mountain lion, getting it to release the dog and run off. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian.

Local wildlife officers were able to track the mountain lion by following tracks in the snow. The mountain lion was found in a tree near the home.

Based on information from the dog owner, the wildlife officer determined there was a threat to human health and safety, resulting in the decision to euthanize the mountain lion. The mountain lion was determined to be a sub-adult (between the ages of 1.5-2 years) female.

The first incident occurred during the evening hours of Dec. 19, 2022. Shortly after a woman let her dog out around 10 p.m., the woman heard her dog make a noise. Upon opening the door to see what was going on, the owner hit the mountain lion with the door. The mountain lion dropped the dog and ran off. The dog was injured but survived.

The second incident occurred less than a week ago, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. A woman and her dog were returning from a walk when a 7-year-old adult female mountain lion grabbed the dog from under the porch. The owner attempted to scare off the mountain lion but was unsuccessful, leading up to the owner’s husband shooting and killing the mountain lion. Local wildlife officers determined that there was indeed threat to human health and safety and did not ticket the dog owner.

The Dec. 19 and Jan. 19 incidents both occurred in the same area west of Shadow Mountain Reservoir.

“These are unfortunate situations,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington. “Incidents like these serve as a good reminder that we live in mountain lion country and being aware of our surroundings is important.”

If you must let your pet out between dusk through dawn when mountain lions are most active, be sure to check the area and make your presence known by turning lights on and making noise before letting your pet out. The goal is to make a mountain lion feel as uncomfortable and unwanted as possible so they will leave. Keep a close eye on your pets when they are outside and never leave them out overnight.

When walking your dogs, keep them leashed until you enter your home. Roaming pets are easy prey and can attract mountain lions.

CPW also wants to remind residents and visitors of the importance of talking with your children about mountain lions and what to do if they see one. Closely supervise children whenever they play outdoors, especially during dusk-to-dawn hours and teach them to be SMART if they have a close encounter with a mountain lion.

S- Stop. Do not run!

M- Make yourself look big. A

A- Announce your presence in an authoritative voice: “LEAVE ME ALONE, LION!”

R- Retreat by backing away slowly.

T- Tell an adult about the encounter.

If you see a mountain lion, haze it away from your property by making loud noises like setting off car alarms, banging pots and pans together, blowing a whistle or air horn or other means of making loud sounds.

“It is important that we are notified of a mountain lion sighting or conflict immediately,” said CPW wildlife officer Serena Rocksund. “The sooner we know, the sooner we can start monitoring the lion and their behavior.”

To report a mountain lion sighting or encounter in Grand and Summit counties, contact the Hot Sulphur Springs CPW office at 970-725-2600.

For after-hours wildlife emergencies, you may contact the Colorado State Patrol at 970-824-6501 and they will forward your report on to wildlife officers.

“It’s important to know how to protect yourself, children, and your pets and what to do if you see a mountain lion,” said Huntington. “We also want to stress the importance of ensuring you are not attracting mountain lions to your home.”

  • Do not feed wildlife. Feeding one species will bring in the entire food chain. Remove bird feeders. Birdseed will attract numerous small game and deer to your yard, which will in turn invite mountain lions.
  • Don’t feed pets outside; this can attract raccoons and other animals that are prey for mountain lions.
  • Supervise your pet when outside, especially dusk through dawn.
  • Keep your pets under control. Roaming pets are easy prey and can attract mountain lions. Bring pets in at night. If you leave your pets outside, keep them in a kennel with a secure top.
  • If deer are lingering on your property, you can haze them away (yell, use air horn, alarms, etc.) to minimize the chance of a mountain lion encounter in your yard. If you have deer, you will have mountain lions. Same goes for raccoons.

If you have questions or concerns about mountain lions, or would like to report a mountain lion sighting or encounter in your area, contact your local CPW area office. For after-hours wildlife emergencies, you can also contact the Colorado State Patrol or local Sheriff’s Office. It is important that mountain lion sighting reports are made in a timely manner.

For more information on living with mountain lions, and what to do if you encounter one, please visit our website.