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Deer Creek Canyon Park reopens after investigation into aggressive mountain lion

Wildlife officers unable to track animal down
Posted at 10:13 AM, Oct 13, 2020

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Deer Creek Canyon Park has reopened after authorities closed it due to a reported aggressive mountain lion.

Jefferson County Open Space said Deer Creek Canyon Park and Black Bear Trail, the latter of which connects Deer Creek to Hildebrand Ranch, both reopened on Tuesday morning.

The park and trail closed on Saturday morning.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, multiple hikers reported encountering a mountain lion on the evening of Sept. 24. On Oct. 9, a cyclist was unable to scare a mountain lion off for about 25 minutes as it followed her down a trail. These incidents occurred on the park's Red Mesa Loop. Nobody was injured.

CPW said that wildlife officers attempted to locate the mountain lion using reports from park visitors, but they couldn't track it down as of Tuesday morning.

The mountain lion may still be in the park, or if it left, it could return. CPW said it's always possible to run into a mountain lion along the Front Range. Park visitors should be prepared, keep pets on leashes and children close, and recreate in small groups instead of alone, if possible.

CPW has asked the public to report any mountain lion activity by calling 303-239-4501. To learn more about mountain lions in Colorado, click here.

If you see a mountain lion, stand your ground and don't run, CPW says. Make yourself look big, make a lot of noise and use anything you can to keep space between you and the animal. If you're attacked, fight back.

In February, a runner at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins was attacked by a mountain lion, and killed it while fighting it off.

More recently, just over the weekend in Utah, a 26-year-old man was stalked for about six minutes by a mountain lion — all caught on camera — in a now-widespread video.

In North America, fewer than a dozen people have been killed by mountain lions in more than 100 years, according to CPW.