COLORADO SPRINGS — An eight-year-old boy attacked by a mountain lion near his home in Bailey, Colorado is the lion attack on a human in the state this year. A hunter fought off a mountain lion north of Vail two weeks earlier. In February a runner near Fort Collins clashed with a mountain lion.
"This is obviously a tragic circumstance, but it’s a rare one, said Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Area Wildlife Manager, Frank McGee. Data shows the three attacks are likely an aberration, rather than a growing trend. The last mountain lion verses human encounter in Colorado was back in 2016. There were no other encounters that year.
Deer are a mountain lion’s natural prey. They sometimes find easier targets like livestock or small animals, including pets left out in yards. Wildlife officers say a mountain lion’s age and health condition typically factor into the rare attacks involving people "Tend to be younger, inexperienced, typically not in very good body condition. So, people can and do very successfully fight back," said McGee
Fighting back is the right thing to do if attacked. Better is scaring off a mountain lion if it is approaching. Raise your arms to look bigger, also make noise. Your voice lets the cat know you are not their preferred prey. “If a person is talking, that’s something deer don’t do so it’s a good indicator to a lion that you are not a food source,” said McGee. Back away slowly, do not run. A mountain lion’s instinct is to chase something trying to get away.