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Wildlife Officials Euthanize a Mountain Lion That Became a ‘Threat to Human Health and Safety’

Many people living in towns near wilderness areas make every effort to coincide with wildlife, but occasionally, an unfortunate event causes experts to step in. Colorado Parks and Wildlife say they had to euthanize a mountain lion in the town of Silverthorne this week. The agency says multiple incidents caused them to make the call.

The first case involved several goats. Officials say on February 1, a cougar killed three goats. A few days later, the mountain lion attacked a dog in nearby Dillon. The owner was able to scare away the cougar and bring the dog to a veterinarian. They believe the cases were connected. Finally, on February 11, the animal attacked another goat. 

At this point, Colorado Parks and Wildlife say the animal had lost all fear of humans, and they needed to take action. They said the animal threatened “human health and safety.”

“These are unfortunate situations,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington. “Incidents like these serve as a good reminder that we live in mountain lion country. While we believe we were able to remove the mountain lion responsible for recent incidents, it’s important we continue to be aware of our surroundings and follow best practices for living in mountain lion country.”

Officers followed the cougar’s tracks in the snow and found the goat’s carcass hidden away. The team set up a trap to capture the animal and used a tranquilizer gun on Monday. Wildlife officers brought the animal to another location to be euthanized. 

Living Near Mountain Lions

Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind people that if they let pets out between dusk and dawn, they make their presence known by turning lights on and making loud noises. The goal is to scare the animal away before any attacks. Owners should keep pets on a leash when they leave home. For livestock, be sure they are locked in a secure pen at night.

Here’s what you should do if you encounter a mountain lion while hiking.

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