Living with mountain lions

Deb D’Andrea
Nederland, CO

While many are rarely fortunate to glimpse a mountain lion, I have noticed an
increase of reported sightings, and paw prints tracked, throughout our mountain
community. There could be several reasons for this increase; possibly because people are
moving into mountain lion habitat, or there’s just an increase of lions in our area. Maybe
more people are hiking and exploring within mountain lion territory. I have my personal
theory that the mountain lions, along with many other animals, have been displaced due
to the floods and fires in Colorado and surrounding states; thus, concentrating wildlife
here, in habitats less affected by those disasters.
Our choice to live amongst these amazing creatures safely is a choice we make, and
one that we need to take precautions for, for our pets, our children and, of course, the
wildlife. Some guidelines to follow are: closely supervise pets and children when outside,
and get everyone inside between dusk and dawn, as this is when mountain lions are most
active. If your pet needs to go outside at night to do their business, go out with them, take
a flash light and use a leash. Light walkways and entranceways at night, including decks
and below balconies, and modify your landscape to eliminate places mountain lions can
hide.
Pets should be brought in at night as they are easy prey; and if you feed your pets
outside, clean up their bowls and any remaining food so as not to attract critters, like
raccoons or porcupines, that mountain lions naturally eat. Don’t allow your pet to roam
freely as they are easy prey for mountain lions; and if a pet approaches a mountain lion
kill, there is a high probability the mountain lion will protect its food.
Mountain lion populations range upwards of 30,000, existing in the Western
Hemisphere and are one of the biggest cats in North America. In the wild, they live for
approximately 12 years, typically feeding on deer and elk. Bears, other lions and wolves
are some of their natural enemies. They are tawny to light cinnamon in color with black-
tipped ears and tail, with their tail measuring one-third of their total length. Males are
larger than females, weighing in at around 150 pounds, with females around 70 pounds.
I am hopeful we will continue to peacefully exist with the magnificent creatures of the
Rocky Mountains, safely enjoying their beauty and elegance. If you are online, please
watch the “Mountain Lion Safety” video from Colorado Parks & Wildlife at:

Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog
Ranch, recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and
will visit your home or Vet’s office to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be
offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2018 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited
availability for new Pet Nanny Clients; and bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday
cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675- 7078 or email:
info@4theluvofdogz.com.

Deb D'Andrea

Deb D’Andrea, columnist for The Mountain Ear, and founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and visits your home or Vet to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2018 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: info@4theluvofdogz.com.