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Colorado Parks and Wildlife relocates mountain lion that ended up on Boulder homeowner’s porch

mountain lion under porch in boulder.jpg
Posted at 1:36 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 15:36:48-05

BOULDER, Colo. – A mountain lion that ended up on a homeowner’s porch in Boulder was safely relocated Sunday morning, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials.

The mountain lion was reported by the homeowners at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at a home near the intersection of 23rd Street and Panorama Avenue, according to CPW officials. The homeowners said their dog alerted them that something was in the backyard underneath the decking that had a clearance from the ground. Thinking it was probably a raccoon, the homeowners immediately called CPW once they realized what had arrived overnight.

Rangers from Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks as well as Boulder Police Animal Protection Officers were first to arrive on scene, according to CPW. One wildlife officers arrived and tranquilized the mountain lion, they pulled it out from under the porch about three hours later, according to a news release.

The mountain lion was relocated and released in a remote area in southwest Larimer County by about 1 p.m.

The cat, which CPW described as a “sub-adult male,” was in good condition and weighed approximately 115-120 pounds.

“This one was pretty far east in Boulder in a populated area and it is not a good situation to have a big predator like that close to so many people,” said CPW wildlife officer Tyler Asnicar. It is better for the people and the cat to try to move it. Relocation was our best approach in this case.”

CPW said that since Jan. 15 of this year, the agency has received 17 reports of mountain lions in the city of Boulder, not including Sunday’s call.

“Leading up to this over the past couple weeks, we’ve had several pets taken in town by a sub-adult lion, probably siblings in town,” Asnicar said. “They’ve been spotted a lot in north Boulder. This may or may not have been one of those cats, but increased winter activity is fairly typical as they follow their prey base down, and particularly the mule deer that move into lower elevations this time of year. The cats concentration around the western edge of town and that leads to an increase in sightings and probably led to this cat being in town looking for something to eat.”

CPW advises residents to learn what to do should they encounter any of the various wild animals that inhabit this densely populated urban area:

  • 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 and never turn your back on it.
  • Stop or back away slowly, if you can do it 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 fought back with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools and their bare hands successfully. CPW recommends targeting the eye and nose as these are sensitive areas. Remain standing or try to get back up.

“Especially in Boulder, always be aware, but don’t be worried,” Asnicar said, speaking specifically about mountain lions being in Boulder. “Cats are going to come and go, it is not a new thing and it isn’t going to go away, so know that if you are out and about in town you have a chance of coming upon a mountain lion or other predators as well like bears, coyotes and foxes. So keep an eye on your pets, keep an eye on your kids and teach them what to do if they were to encounter a mountain lion or bear.”

If you spot a mountain lion around town, you are asked to report it directly to Colorado Parks and Wildlife by calling CPW’s Denver office at (303) 291-7227 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by calling Colorado State Patrol at (303) 239-4501 if outside of normal business hours.

Timely reports are critical, especially when it is an active sighting of a mountain lion and not one spotted on a security or trail camera from days before, CPW officials said.