Doorbell video captures mountain lion in suburban JeffCo

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A doorbell camera in the Ken Caryl area of Jefferson County captured a mountain lion in a front yard Thursday morning.

As more people install doorbell cameras, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is getting a clearer picture of wildlife that prefer moving around in the dark of night.

There are plenty of deer in the area —  a treat for mountain lions — just outside Chatfield State Park in the southwest corner of the Denver metro area.

“They’re going to go where their food is at,” said Jason Clay, a CPW spokesperson.

Clay says that since April 1, his agency has received just more than 600 reports of mountain lions. In comparison, CPW has received more than 5,100 reports of bears over the same time period. Technology is helping drive those numbers up.

“The alertness that you can gain off of those security cameras — it could be beneficial to you,” Clay said.

Well before the Ken Caryl video surfaced, mountain lion interactions with humans have been top-of-mind in Colorado.

“There have been some high-profile cases this year— of attacks,” Clay said. “There’ve been the three attacks this year. It’s really hard to quantify [if] we have more sightings this year.”

CPW had been using multiple reporting systems across the state that were used in different ways. On April 1, Colorado unified its systems. CPW says there hasn’t been enough time under the current reporting methods to determine whether mountain lion sightings are on the rise.

Upcoming years should produce a clearer picture of how much — and what kind — of wildlife are moving through Front Range neighborhoods.

CPW says we can all help creating that clearer picture. To report wildlife, call the agency at 303-291-7227.

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