Mountain lion-people encounters are on the rise in Colorado.

Mountain lions are elusive. For the most part, they live in remote undeveloped areas that offer plenty of prey and adequate cover. As urban sprawl continues pushing into mountain lion habitat the number of interactions with humans has increased. You probably read about Monday's attack by a mountain lion on a runner on the West Ridge Trail near Fort Collins. The runner received a couple puncture wounds but was able to fight off the attack by choaking the juvenal mountain lion.

Now Larimer Country has closed the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space and the adjacent Lory State Park because of the increased mountain lion activity.

Lion attacks are extremely rare. There have been fewer than a dozen deaths in North America in the last 100 years. Most of the attacks, like the one near Fort Collins, are by young lions forced to hunt on their own and haven't established their own hunting grounds. Young lions have been reported to attack what they perceive as easy prey in pets and in a few cases even small children.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife has a page dedicated to mountain lion safety on their website. You can access that information by clicking HERE.

Credit: Coloradoan

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