3 more mountain lions reported in Bailey near where boy was attacked

Posted at 1:10 PM, Aug 23, 2019

BAILEY, Colo. – Three more mountain lions have been reported in Bailey near the area where an eight-year-old boy was attacked this week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said in a news release Friday.

CPW officers had captured two lions and euthanized them on Thursday, and they believed one of the lions was involved in the attack on the boy, which happened Wednesday night in the Burland Ranchettes subdivision.

The captured lions had killed a domestic goat on a property in Bailey. After removing the mountain lions from the area, officers received reports of three more lions on the same property.

Officers also received several trail-camera pictures of mountain lions in the area on the day of the attack. CPW on Friday warned residents in the Burland Ranchettes area to stay vigilant for mountain lions, but no active searches for the lions were underway.

The euthanized lions were about a year old, according to CPW estimates, and both weighed about 65 pounds and were in good condition. Both lions had stomachs full of goat and they appeared to have been eating well, CPW said. They were sent to a lab in Wyoming for DNA analysis to confirm if they were involved in the attack.

The boy was hospitalized with serious injuries but was "doing well in light of the circumstances," officials said.

He was playing outside with his brother heard his friend next door calling, so he ran over to the home. But that movement may have triggered a nearby mountain lion to perceive the boy as prey, and the animal attacked, officials said.

The boy's brother ran inside the home for their father, who then rushed outside. As the father approached the mountain lion, which was on top of his son, the animal let go and ran away.

Since 1990, 22 mountain lion attacks on humans have been recorded in Colorado. Three of those — in 1991, 1997 and 1999 — were fatal. Three people have been injured in mountain lion attacks so far this year in the state.

The first occurred in February at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. A 31-year-old runner fought off a young mountain lion that stalked and attacked him in the park. He killed the lion before running back down to the trailhead.

The second attack happened on Aug. 10 northeast of Kremmling. A man encountered a young mountain lion near the Big Horn Park subdivision and fought it off with a pocket knife. Wildlife officers located the animal, which had an empty stomach and was likely very hungry, a few days later and put it down.