2 mountain lions killed in Colorado after killing, injuring dogs
Mountain lions have grabbed headlines recently in Colorado after injuring and killing pets and, in turn, being killed.
First came former Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe's Instagram post last week telling how he killed a large mountain lion that was "wreaking havoc" on pets in the mountain community of Grant.
On Wednesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced it had killed a mountain lion in Grand Lake on Monday. That came just days after a resident of the mountain town killed a mountain lion after it killed his dog.
What we know about 3 recent mountain lion attacks in Grand Lake
Here's a look at how the three Grand Lake attacks went down, according to the state wildlife agency:
Jan. 23: A dog and its owner were returning home from a walk when a mountain lion lunged and grabbed the dog off porch steps. The dog owner was able to scare the mountain lion, getting it to let go of the dog, which was injured and taken to a veterinarian.
Wildlife officers tracked the mountain lion to an area near the home and euthanized the approximately 2-year-old female.
Jan. 19: A Grand Lake resident was returning from a walk with their dog, which was off leash but near the resident, when an approximately 7-year-old female adult lion came from under a porch and killed the dog. Attempts by the resident to scare off the mountain lion were unsuccessful, so the dog's owner killed the lion. Wildlife offers determined the killing of the lion was justified due to the threat to human safety.
Dec. 19: Around 10 p.m., a resident heard its dog make a noise. When they opened the door to see what was happening, the door hit the mountain lion, which then dropped the injured dog before leaving. The dog survived.
Were any mountain lions killed in Colorado last year?
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife 2022 reporting, there were:
787 mountain lion incident reports, which include sightings, aggressive behavior and property damage
20 lions killed by wildlife officials or by property owners (and deemed justified), with most of those kills on the Western Slope
1 human encounter that resulted in a Montezuma man injured
There have been seven reported lion attacks on humans since 2011 in Colorado. Three of those occurred in Larimer County.
How often are pets and domestic livestock killed by mountain lions?
Colorado Parks and Wildlife conducted an extensive study from 2007 and 2015 in which it captured and collared 102 mountain lions in Boulder, Jefferson, Gilpin, Clear Creek and Larimer counties. This study included high-housing-density areas and some cities.
Highlights from the study:
66% of kills among collared mountain lions were mule deer. More than half of those were fawns. On average, a mountain lion killed one deer a week.
39% were found to have consumed domestic animals such as dogs, cats and hobby livestock.
25% of kills were small prey, including raccoons, rabbits and pets.
Around higher housing densities, 83% of kills were between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
24% of collared lions had some human conflict, including locations where the researchers did not want lions.
May was the month with the highest proportion of domestic prey killed by far, followed by February, October, April and August.
How to protect your pets from mountain lions
If you must let your pet out from dusk through dawn — when mountain lions are most active — check the area and make your presence known by turning lights on and making noise.
Keep a close eye on pets and never leave them out overnight.
When walking your dog, keep them leashed until you enter your home.
More mountain lion safety tips can be found at https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeLion1.aspx.
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This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado mountain lions killed after killing, injuring dogs