Glenwood lion sightings give residents paws
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Local police and wildlife officials are urging the public to be on guard after a number of mountain lion sightings in the South Glenwood area near Midland Avenue in recent weeks.
“We’ve been hearing about them for a couple of weeks now,” Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said. “One lady in Park West said she saw a mountain lion looking in her sliding glass door.
“Last weekend, someone spotted a lion crossing the roundabout at (27th and Midland), and saw it slunk down behind the old racquet club,” he said. “We want to make sure people know about it, so they can be on guard.”
Local Colorado Division of Wildlife officer Perry Will said there’s no reason for the public to be unduly alarmed.
“We live in mountain lion country, and this is their range, so you’re going to have lions come into town on occasion,” he said. “Even if you’ve never seen a mountain lion, they’ve probably seen you.”
Still, “Lion attacks on people are very rare, but encounters are getting to be more and more,” Will said.
Unlike bears, which tend to frequent populated areas during the weeks right before and after they’re in hibernation in search of easy food, lions are not as predictable.
“People do need to be aware, because they can show up at any time,” Will said. “It’s always a good idea not to leave pets unattended, especially in the early morning and late evening hours.”
The DOW recommends a few mountain lion safety tips:
• When children are outside playing, make sure at least one adult is outside with them; make sure children are inside before dusk and not outside before dawn.
• Teach children that if they are outside alone and they see a lion, to stand up and keep facing the lion, yell as loudly as they can to their parents or other adults, and back up slowly until they reach the house or shelter. Never turn away from a lion and never run.
• Make lots of noise if you come in contact with a mountain lion.
• Install outside lighting in areas where you walk.
• Landscape or remove vegetation to eliminate hiding places for lions, especially around children’s play areas.
• Don’t feed other wildlife, such as deer and smaller animals, which are prey for mountain lions.
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Policy that dictates what for-profit activities should be officially sanctioned within Glenwood Springs parks is being reviewed by city staff and will likely come before the city council for final approval later this summer.