SILVERTHORNE, COLORADO – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials took decisive action on Monday, February 12, by euthanizing a mountain lion near Silverthorne, following a series of concerning interactions involving the predator, domestic animals, and close proximity to humans. The decision came after the animal was implicated in multiple depredation incidents, signaling a significant threat to human health and safety.
The young female mountain lion, identified as a sub-adult between 1.5 to 2 years old, was captured by wildlife officers after being linked to the deaths of goats and an attack on a dog in the Silverthorne area. The incidents, which occurred within the span of a few weeks, prompted CPW to act swiftly. The lion was tranquilized, captured, and humanely euthanized to prevent any future attacks.
CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington remarked on the situation, highlighting the balance between wildlife management and public safety. “These are unfortunate situations,” Huntington stated. “While we believe we were able to remove the mountain lion responsible for recent incidents, it’s a stark reminder that we live in mountain lion territory and must remain vigilant.”
Safety Tips for Residents in Mountain Lion Country:
In light of these events, CPW has reiterated the importance of safety measures for residents living in areas frequented by mountain lions. Here are some key tips to keep you, your family, and your pets safe:
- Secure Your Pets: Always leash your dogs during walks and supervise pets when outdoors, especially from dusk till dawn when mountain lions are most active. Consider keeping pets indoors at night or in a secure enclosure.
- Protect Livestock: Place livestock in enclosed areas during nighttime and secure all outbuildings to deter mountain lion visits.
- Child Safety: Educate children on how to behave if they encounter a mountain lion. Supervise outdoor play, especially during early morning and evening hours.
- Make Noise: Before letting pets out at night, turn on outdoor lights and make noise to scare away potential mountain lions.
- Hazing Techniques: If a mountain lion is seen on your property, use loud noises, car alarms, or even pots and pans to make it uncomfortable and encourage it to leave.
- Avoid Attracting Prey: Do not feed wildlife or leave pet food outside, as it attracts smaller animals which in turn can attract mountain lions. Remove bird feeders to reduce attracting small game that might entice mountain lions.
- Report Sightings: For any mountain lion sightings or encounters in Summit County, contact the Hot Sulphur Springs CPW office at 970-725-6200, or the Colorado State Patrol at 970-824-6501 for after-hours wildlife emergencies.
CPW stresses the importance of coexisting with our wildlife neighbors while taking proactive steps to minimize risks. Huntington adds, “Knowing how to protect yourself, your children, and pets, and what to do if you see a mountain lion is crucial for living safely in mountain lion country.”
For more detailed information on living with mountain lions and how to handle encounters, residents are encouraged to visit CPW’s website on living with wildlife.