GLENWOOD SPRINGS - A mountain lion kitten killed and ate a house cat Saturday morning in the Park East subdivision, according to Kevin Wright, district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
"This is a really young mountain lion, about four months old. It's been orphaned somehow, and he is trying to make a living," Wright said.
Wright urged residents in south Glenwood to keep a close eye on small pets when they are outdoors. "Cats and small dogs are going to be easy prey," Wright said.
The kitten isn't likely to be a threat to people or larger dogs, he added, because it is still small.
"It sure ran from me," Wright said after spotting the kitten Saturday.
Wright said the incident occurred in the 1500 block of Mountain Drive, at the north end of Park East and near the Roaring Fork River.
He said the cat's owner noticed a curled-up cat on her back deck. When she approached, it ran off, and then she noticed blood and fur and realized her own cat had fallen victim.
Wright said he posted mountain lion warning signs in the neighborhood. He does not plan to actively pursue the kitten.
"He's so mobile, the only way to get him is if he goes up a tree or gets in somebody's garage," Wright said.
The dense neighborhood would not be an appropriate place to turn loose dogs trained to hunt down mountain lions, he said, as they might go after pets and would likely kill the kitten if they caught it.
Wright said residents reported seeing two young mountain lions in the south Glenwood area in the past couple of months. In January, another mountain lion kitten was captured in the neighborhood immediately north of the Wal-Mart store.
"We got it cornered in a shed and noose-pulled it out," he said. Officers took that kitten to the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation rehabilitation center in Silt for care.
"We hadn't heard anything more about the other one until now," Wright said.
To report a sighting, call the Division of Wildlife at 947-2920.