Mountain lion euthanized after entering Vail resort

Local News

VAIL, Colo. (KDVR) –- A mountain lion was euthanized after making its way into at least one resort property in the Lionshead Village area on Jan. 8. 

The above video was obtained by FOX31 from Vail Spa Condominiums, it shows the mountain lion entering the main lobby of a condominium property through automatic doors.  

FOX31 spoke to the person behind the front desk when the lion strolled in. 

“Unlike the bear encounters that we’ve had, in past properties that I’ve worked at, they [mountain lions] tend to do a ton of damage. Aside from a few minor claw marks when you try to get out that door initially, we have no damage to the building,” said Jeremy Follett the assistant general manager at Vail Spa Condominiums.  

Officers were able to isolate the mountain lion to a secure hallway of the hotel.   

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers responded and were able to successfully dart and immobilize the mountain lion. However, wildlife officials said the mountain lion was severely emaciated and in poor condition and was euthanized as a result.  

“[Vail Police] said that they euthanized it, which was kind of sad for all of us here. We thought it was a good ending to the story, you know, he got tranquilized and they’re going to relocate him,” said Follett. “It would have been nice if they had some sort of program. He didn’t look bad, obviously, but if there was some program or some wildlife refuge in the area where they couldn’t try to get it back to a healthy state to be able to release it.” 

The Vail Police Department said this type of behavior from a mountain lion is unusual. The department went on to say, “While mountain lions are native to Eagle County, they are typically elusive and sightings are rare.” Officials believe its condition is what likely contributed to its desire to be near humans.  

Encountering a mountain lion

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has tips for people who encounter a mountain lion:

  • Do not approach a lion
  • Stay calm
  • Stop or back away slowly
  • Do all you can to appear larger
  • Fight back if a lion attacks you 

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