Colorado Officials Capture, Euthanize Bold Mountain Lion

State wildlife officials said the mountain lion had lost its fear of humans and was becoming bolder with its hunting.

Colorado Officials Capture, Euthanize Bold Mountain Lion

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials on February 12 captured and euthanized a mountain lion in Silverthorne believed to be involved in two separate depredation incidents involving goats and a separate incident involving a dog.

While investigating the incident with the goat on February 11, a second incident involving a goat was reported to CPW. The decision was made to euthanize the mountain lion after wildlife officers determined it had lost all fear of humans and had become a threat to human health and safety. The female lion was determined to be a sub-adult (between the ages of 1.5 and 2 years).

The mountain lion attacked and killed a goat on February 10 at a residence in Silverthorne. Officers responded and located it by following tracks and drag marks in the snow to an area where the lion had cached the goat. Wildlife officers observed the mountain lion near the goat’s carcass and set a trap overnight, successfully capturing the lion. Using a tranquilizer gun, wildlife officers were able to chemically immobilize it and remove it from the area for humane euthanization.

“These are unfortunate situations,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington. “Incidents like these serve as a good reminder that we live in mountain lion country. While we believe we were able to remove the mountain lion responsible for recent incidents, it’s important we continue to be aware of our surroundings and follow best practices for living in mountain lion country.”

The first reported incident occurred February 1. After investigating, wildlife officers confirmed three goats had been killed by a mountain lion. On February 4, wildlife officers responded to reports of a mountain lion that bit a dog in Silverthorne. The dog’s owner was able to scare the mountain lion away. The dog was treated for injuries by a veterinarian and was later released. In those incidents, wildlife officers followed a set of tracks but were unable to locate the mountain lion. CPW wildlife officers believe the mountain lion was responsible for all the attacks on the goats and dog.

In addition to the incidents in Silverthorne, CPW wildlife officers responded to a mountain lion that pounced on a dog in Dillon on the night of January 27. After being let outside, a dog was bitten and dragged by a mountain lion away from its home. The dog owner was able to find the dog at the Keystone Ranch Golf course and take it to a veterinarian, where it was treated for injuries. During the investigation, wildlife officers searched for the mountain lion by following its tracks but were unable to locate it. CPW officials do not believe this is the same lion responsible for the incidents in Silverthorne.   


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