Colorado Parks and Wildlife say it’s a rare occurrence to run into one of the roughly 5,000 mountain lions across Colorado, but if you do, it’s best to be prepared.
To drive the point home, CPW NE Region tweeted a video sent in by a Lakewood resident that shows a large cat strolling across her property. The footage was picked up by a Nest security camera.
The tweet links to a page that details how to avoid becoming a victim of an attack and also notes that the number of lion and human interactions has increased due to factors such as more people moving into mountain lions’ habitats, more people using hiking and running trails and an increase in deer populations.
If you do encounter a lion, there are a few steps to follow to ensure safety.
“Make yourself appear large,” said Travis Duncan with CPW. “Put your hands up in the air, if you have a jacket it’s good to kind of hold that up behind you.”
Duncan says get on a tree stump or higher ground to make yourself appear bigger.
“Never run away,” Duncan said. “If you run from a mountain lion it could activate it’s instinct to chase, to think you’re prey. So back away slowly.”
As for equipment that could come in handy, Duncan says bear spray could work or be effective.
He recommends finding anything that will create a sustained amount of loud noise, like an air horn, to scare off the mountain lion.
Duncan recommends if you have small children, keep them behind you. He says high pitched screams from children could activate the lion’s predator instincts.
Among other tips CPW offers are the importance of staying calm in the frightening situation and throw stones or other items that you can retrieve without crouching down.
Finally, if a lion attacks, fight back. Fighting for his life is exactly what saved Travis Kauffman’s life.
The runner fatally strangled and bludgeoned a mountain lion that attacked the 31-year-old man on the West Ridge Trail on Horsetooth Mountain in the foothills west of Fort Collins on Feb. 4.AlertMe