Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions

There have been several sightings of mountain lions in the Arvada and across the Denver metro area in recent weeks.

Because of Arvada’s spectacular location and numerous parks and trails we do encounter wildlife at times. If you do see a mountain lion call the Arvada Police Department’s non-emergency line at 720-898-6900 to report the sighting.

Here are some helpful tips if you spot a mountain lion:

DO NOT HIKE ALONE. Make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. Go in groups, with adults supervising children. A sturdy walking stick is a good idea: you can use it to ward off a lion.

KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE TO YOU. Observations of captured lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times. Keep your pets in the house at night and always walk with your dog on a leash.

STOP! Do not run from a lion. Back away from it slowly, but only if you can do so safely. Running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up so they won't panic and run. Although it may seem awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the lion.

DO NOT BEND OR CROUCH OVER; DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER. A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. Raise your arms. Open your jacket, if you're wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can grab without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a large voice.

DO NOT APPROACH A LION, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

FIGHT BACK IF ATTACKED. Try to stay on your feet if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven off by prey that fights back. Some hikers have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands. Since lions usually try to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.