LAKEWOOD, Colo. – A Lakewood family caught a surprise visitor lurking in the front yard with their security camera Tuesday night.
Kati Scheibeler and her husband installed security cameras outside their home near West Colfax Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard to deter burglars and other criminals. Wednesday morning, the cameras’ footage showed a wild intruder.
“As just a force of habit, I check my cameras every morning and I saw it. And I was like, ‘Well, that is a large cat-dog thing.’ And I looked at it again and was like, ‘Wow, that’s a mountain lion,'” Sheibeler said.
She reported the sighting to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The agency confirmed the wild animal is a mountain lion.
The short video shows the big cat strolling through the family’s yard around 9:30 p.m.
“It was a time when people are out, maybe hanging out in their yards,” Scheibeler said.
In fact, she says she was outside about 10 minutes before the mountain lion showed up.
“With the weird weather, we’ve had some over-abundance of insects and so I was trying to figure out how they were getting into the house and then had I waited any longer, we would have been nose to nose,” Scheibeler said.
According to CPW, mountain lions often live in remote, primitive country. Sightings in populated areas have increased due to more people moving into lion habitat, presumed increase in lion numbers and expanded range.
However, it is still rare to see a mountain lion, especially in the Scheibeler’s neighborhood. They are just a few blocks off Colfax Avenue. The famous restaurant Casa Bonita is less than a mile away.
“I’ve lived here a long time. I hike. I camp. Never seen one and so to have my first experience seeing one be in my front yard is a little odd,” Scheibeler said.
The only evidence of the big cat’s visit is its picture. Scheibeler says she would not have known it was there if it hadn’t walked through the path of the security camera.
No one knows where it went or if it will reappear in the neighborhood. However, Scheibeler says it is a good reminder that humans aren’t the only ones that call the Denver area home.
“It’s definitely a reminder to be cautious of where we live and check your yards and check your animals. Keep your cats inside if you can but it’s just part of where we live,” Scheibeler said.
CPW has more information about what to do if you encounter a mountain lion and how to discourage the animals from visiting your property.