COLORADO SPRINGS – Mountain lion attacks are rare in Colorado, even in North America.
Fewer than 20 people have endured attacks from the predators over the last century, but wildlife officials are using an attack on a hiker near Fort Collins this week as an example to remind outdoor recreation enthusiasts of what they should do if they encounter wildlife.
Shantelle Mayles, of Colorado Springs, likes consistency on her hikes. She always brings her dogs and never wears headphones.
“I would like to be aware of my surroundings if there is anything making noise, rustling around on the trail, especially if I’m by myself. I’d like to be aware of that,” Mayles said.
It’s that awareness Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials want to remind Coloradans of following Monday’s attack.
They said to avoid outdoor exercise around dusk and dawn, when mountain lions are most active.
Cody Wigner, assistant area wildlife manager for the department, said you should never go for a hike, bike ride or run alone, either.
“They kind of set up an ambush, so they find a good place to hide and surprise their prey by usually jumping on their back,” Wigner said.
If you do see one, his advice is to make yourself as big and loud as you can, throw things at it and fight back if the lion attacks you.
They’re all efforts to keep these territorial cats at bay.
“They cover very large areas, you know over 100 square miles a big Tom or a male cat can have. So, they will defend that stuff too,” Wigner said.