The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) are advising area residents to be aware that several mountain lion sightings have been reported over the last week. One resident just
off Antelope Drive reported that a llama had been killed, presumably by a lion, although several days later a black bear was spotted in a yard further up Apple Valley. There was also a report over the weekend of a lion spotted just outside the backdoor of a home in the area of Old South St. Vrain Road and Red Gulch Drive, and another sighting near Prospect and 4th Avenue, adjacent to the pedestrian bridge on the west end of Bohn Park.
Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Kevin Parker said that as recently as Monday night (August 23) a lion believed to be wearing a radio collar was sighted in the mobile home park. Neighbors report that a pet cat was missing, and that the lion may have attempted to gain entry into a residence a couple of times. Gary Gorman, who lives on Old South St. Vrain Road, lost a goat early Monday morning, and was able to photograph the lion in his goat pen late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
The main prey of mountain lions are deer and elk, but like most predators, they are opportunistic, and with the increase of people keeping llamas, goats, chickens, etc., the DOW says it is not unusual for lions to be seen at the wilderness/urban interface, as humans continue to encroach into the animal’s habitat. They advise adults to keep small children close when out for a walk or hike, and to keep pets indoors at night. If a lion is spotted, the DOW guidelines suggest you pick up small children, make yourself appear to be as large as possible, back away from the animal slowly (never run, it may trigger the “attack” response), and if possible, throw rocks or sticks to frighten the cat.
To report a lion sighting, you can call the Boulder County Sheriff’s dispatch at 303-441-4444.