Beware of Mountain Lion Roaming North of Denver

Wheat Ridge Warns: Keep Kids Inside, Mountain Lion Spotted

Big Cat Lying Down On Grass Near Private Lake

UPDATED: 2:47 pm MDT August 26, 2010

A mountain lion was spotted in Wheat Ridge Thursday morning, prompting authorities to warn residents to keep their children and small pets inside.
The cougar was first spotted at about 10:30 a.m. in the area of West 49th Avenue and Independence Street.

“The large cat has shown no aggression towards, or interest in, any people or pets in the area,” Wheat Ridge police spokeswoman Lisa Stigall said. “The chances are good that the mountain lion is just passing through, but citizens in the area should take a few precautions while at home.”

Residents in the area were advised to keep small children inside, keep dogs and cats inside or on a leash if out on a walk and to keep trash bins shut tightly.

If you do encounter a mountain lion, stay calm, make a lot of noise, appear as large as possible and then back away slowly, Stigall said.

Wheat Ridge police officers, working with the Division of Wildlife, monitored the big cat’s movements, but mostly left him alone.

“There’s a private lake in the area and he’s laying down in the grasses. It’s hot; he may just lay down for a while and then wander off. If he starts wandering into the neighborhoods, then they will intervene but we want to leave him alone and let him leave on his own accord.

“Some parents whose children go to school in the area were worried about their kids playing in the playground outdoors, but Stigall said officers have not identified any schools in the area that are in any immediate jeopardy.

“This is a pretty rural area. There’s a condo complex in the area,” Stigall said. “As long as adults are keeping an eye on the kids, they should be OK. We just want to make people in the area aware.

“By afternoon, a woman who works at a company nearby said that the mountain lion was gone and that “authorities had taken care of it.”

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