BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Multiple neighbors in the Melody-Catalpa area of north Boulder have spotted two mountain lions who have been roaming the neighborhood for food.
“Once I saw the mountain lion, I saw his head with his jaws over my dog’s head. Instantly, I smacked with my pole and the mountain lion ran off,” Gerry Stellern said.
Stellern said his 75-pound shepherd mix Koda was playing in the backyard with a neighbor’s dog when he heard a loud screech. He ran outside and just feet from his backdoor, a mountain lion had his dog pinned.
“He survived. He had bite marks on his head and neck,” Stellern said.
This isn’t an isolated attack in the neighborhood. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, there have been three reports of mountain lion attacks on dogs since mid-January. There are other reports of mountain lion-dog interactions that did not result in the lion catching a dog.
Jason Clay with CPW said the first was at Kalmia Avenue and Cloverleaf Drive in Boulder, where the pet was taken from a backyard. The second was on Jan. 22 near Moss Rock Place. The dog sustained injuries, but was OK. The next was Jan. 28 on Linden Avenue by Maxwell Park on the west side of Broadway, and the dog was presumably killed by mountain lion.
“I think they are getting too used to people, and that’s disturbing,” Vicki Moore, a neighbor, said.
Stellern’s next-door neighbor, Mark McIntyre, captured video over the weekend of two big cats in his backyard attempting to get back into Stellern’s yard.
“If they remember, hey there is prey over there, they will come back,” Stellern said.
Clay said CPW is working to capture and relocate these two mountain lions. If anyone in the area sees them contact CPW right away.
What to do if you encounter a mountain lion
If you have an encounter with a mountain lion, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays at the following numbers:
- CPW Headquarters (Denver): (303) 297-1192
- Northeast Region CPW Office (Denver): (303) 291-7227
- Northwest Region CPW Office (Grand Junction): (970) 255-6100
- Southeast Region CPW Office (Colorado Springs): (719) 227-5200
- Southwest Region CPW Office (Durango): (970) 247-0855
If you encounter a mountain lion outside these hours, contact your local sheriff’s office or Colorado State Patrol at (303) 289-4760.
CPW’s website features this list on how to handle an encounter with a mountain lion:
- Do not approach a lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
- Stay calm when you come upon a lion. Talk calmly and firmly to it. Move slowly.
- Stop or back away slowly, if you can do so safely. Running may stimulate a lion’s instinct to chase and attack.
- Face the lion and stand upright.
- Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you’re wearing one. If you have small children with you, protect them by picking them up so they won’t panic and run.
- If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches or whatever you can get your hands on without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly. What you want to do is convince the lion you are not prey and that you may in fact be a danger to the lion.
- Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back. People have successfully fought back with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Remain standing or try to get back up if you fall down.