Living with Mountain Lions
Every summer we receive several emails asking us to get the word out about Mountain Lions in the neighborhood. Robert Williams, our VP and a Virunga National Park Gorilla Conservationist took a few minutes to write up some points of advice and provide a few PDF’s and links to help everyone coexist safely.
St. Anton residents have been treated to several mountain lion sitings recently. In hopes of ensuring these encounters remain safe for humans and mountain lions alike, we’d like to review some basics about living in lion habitat. Humans have moved farther and farther into lion habitat and St. Antons is just about as deep as it gets. Because of this, our homes are located in the middle of mountain lion movement corridors. Although sightings are quite rare, lions are in our midst most of the time. Mountain lions food of choice is deer, but they will eat domestic animals if they are left exposed and easy prey. From the mountain lion’s perspective, the less energy expended in pursuit of a meal means the greater its chance of survival. The onus is on all of us not to attract lions with an easy meal. Along those lines, here are some simple tips about co-existing with mountain lions:
1. DO NOT call the Colorado of Division of Wildlife and ask them to respond to a lion sighting unless the lion will not leave your property and is acting aggressively.
2. DO NOT run from a lion. Make yourself appear larger by waiving your arms and talk firmly. “Move along kitty” will work as well as anything.
3. DO NOT leave your pets outside at dawn and dusk and never leave them tethered to a fixed object.
1. DO give lions a chance to move off of your property or out of your immediate proximity on their own.
2. DO keep unattended pets or small livestock in fully enclosed structure when unattended.
3. DO encourage others to follow these simple rules.
Bottom line: We are incredibly lucky to be able live in the presence of lions, bears, bobcats, coyotes, deer, elk and the other animals that share our forest environment. It’s our responsibility to respect and protect them.
Here is a good link to Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s page on Living with Mountain Lions
Here is a PDF worth reading
Living With Mountain Lions
Thanks, Robert Williams