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Young mountain lion killed in Chaffee County after swatting at 11-year-old

Mountain Lion Attacks Child
Posted at 10:42 PM, May 11, 2023

BUENA VISTA, CO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife say that a mountain lion was euthanized in Buena Vista Thursday after it swatted at a young girl causing a puncture wound to her face.

According to CPW, they responded to a house in a rural area of southeast Buena Vista, where they found the young mountain lion in a chicken coop.

The 11-year-old girl told a CPW Officer that she was attacked when she entered the chicken coop. The girl said she went to check on her chickens after she found one dead on the ground. When she opened the door, the mountain lion was inside and swatted at her face.

CPW said when they responded, they quickly euthanized the mountain lion and sent it to the CPW animal health lab in Fort Collins. The lion was a young female weighing around 30 lbs.

The girl was treated on scene and proceeded to head to the Chaffee County hospital for further treatment.

“This was a small mountain lion probably just looking for an easy meal in the chicken coop,” said Sean Shepherd, Area Wildlife Manager based in Salida. “The victim likely surprised the lion. It probably felt threatened and it swatted at her as she entered.”

Sheperd believes that the mountain lion's action was of defensive nature, none the less CPW officers acted seriously and quickly to ensure the safety of the humans in the area.

This marks the 25th known attack of a mountain lion causing injury to a human in Colorado since 1990. This most recent interaction between a mountain lion and a human follows a March incident where a man was swatted at while sitting in an in-ground hot tub in Nathrop.
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