When a Colorado family’s dog seemed to be alerting them of something underneath their deck, they didn’t think much of it, especially since it’s common for wild animals to be in the area.
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Still, they decided to heed their pup’s warning and inspected the area with a flashlight. They expected to see something like a racoon, but, instead, they found themselves mere feet away from a mountain lion.
The family contacted authorities immediately, and with that, a plan began to form between Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, and the Boulder Police Department.
“One factor we look at is location when we get cats that come into town,” Tyler Asnicar, wildlife officer said. “This one was pretty far east in Boulder in a populated area and it is not a good situation to have a big predator like that close to so many people. It is better for the people and the cat to try to move it. Relocation was our best approach in this case.”
Using a long jab pole, Tyler was able to tranquilize the mountain lion from a safe distance. After that, they carefully removed him from underneath the deck and placed him inside of a cage where he was given second shot.
While the lion was still unconscious, they were also able to give him a checkup to confirm that he was healthy, weighing somewhere between 115 and 120 pounds.
This may sound like a rare event, but this is actually the 18th report of a mountain lion in Boulder since January 15. But Tyler reassured residents that, despite how scary these beautiful creatures can be, that an increase in sightings is nothing to fear.
“Especially in Boulder, always be aware, but don’t be worried,” Tyler said. “Cats are going to come and go, it is not a new thing and it isn’t going to go away, so know that if you are out and about in town you have a chance of coming upon a mountain lion or other predators as well like bears, coyotes, and foxes. So keep an eye on your pets, keep an eye on your kids and teach them what to do if they were to encounter a mountain lion or bear.”
Once Tyler and the rest of the team were able to find a safe location, both for humans and the mountain lion, it was finally time to release him.
“Hopefully he’ll be able to find a new place where it’s a little farther from people,” Tyler said. “And he can continue his life without having any risk of danger to humans.”
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