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Lion Country: Part 2
Lion Country: Part 2

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In Mountain Lion Territory: What to Know and Do


Mountain lions are usually quiet and elusive, living in nearly all parts of Colorado with deer and elk herds and adequate ambush cover. However, human encounters with mountain lions are on the rise, possibly due to more people moving into lion habitats, increased deer populations, expanding lion numbers, and heightened awareness thanks to technology like Ring cameras. While attacks on people are very rare, it's essential to know what to do if you encounter a mountain lion.​​

Encounter Tips

  1. ​Group up: Walk or hike in groups, making noise to avoid surprising a lion. Carry a sturdy walking stick and keep children close.
  2. Avoid approaching: Never approach a feeding mountain lion or one with kittens. Give them an escape route.
  3. Stay calm: Remain calm if you encounter a lion. Speak calmly, move slowly, and avoid running.
  4. Appear larger: Raise your arms, open your jacket, and pick up small children to make yourself appear larger.
  5. Defensive measures: If the lion behaves aggressively, throw objects, wave your arms, and speak firmly. Fight back if attacked. People have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools and their bare hands.

Living in Lion Country

By understanding and respecting mountain lions and their habitat, we can minimize risks and peacefully share our surroundings with them. To reduce problems with mountain lions on or near your property, we urge you to follow these simple precautions: ​

  • Make noise during lion-active times (dusk to dawn) when coming and going.
  • Install outdoor lighting and supervise children outdoors, keeping them close or moving inside between dusk and dawn.
  • Landscape to eliminate hiding spots for lions, especially around play areas. 
  • Avoid planting vegetation that attracts deer, as predators follow prey. 
  • Control and secure pets to avoid attracting lions. 
  • Place livestock in enclosed areas at night and secure all outbuildings. 
  • Encourage neighbors to follow these precautions for a safer coexistence.

If you have an encounter with a lion or an attack occurs, immediately contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)​​, Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, as listed below. Before or after these hours, contact the Colorado State Patrol or your local Sheriff's department. You may also call your local office for sightings or general information. 

CPW Headquarters and Regional Offices

  • CPW​ Headquarters (Denver): (303) 297-1192
  • Northeast Region CPW Office (Denver): (303) 291-7227
  • Northwest Region CPW Office (Grand Junction): (970) 255-6100
  • Southeast Region CPW Office (Colorado Springs): (719) 227-5200
  • Southwest Region CPW Office (Durango): (970) 247-0855

Find your local or closest area office information on our Contact Us​ page.

​To Learn More

Coexisting with wildlife is an enjoyable part of living in Colorado. The key is to respect the wildness of wildlife. You can learn more about mountain lions by reading any of the following materials.​

  • Mountain Lion Education and Identification Course
  • Mountain Lion Management
  • Mountain Lion Research
  • A Critical Review of Literature on Puma, 1983, by A.E. Anderson, Division of Wildlife. Special Report # 54
  • America's Great Cats, 1986, by Gary Turbak and Alan Carey, Northland Press, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Soul Among Lions: The Cougar as Peaceful Adversary, 1989, by Harley G. Shaw, Johnson Books, Boulder, CO
  • The Puma: Legendary Lion of the Americas, 1987, by J. B. Tinsley, Texas Western Press, El Paso, TX
  • The Wonder Series: Mountain Lion, A Story and Activities, by Sandra Chisholm Robinson, Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, CO​

​Living with Lions Brochure​

Download and print the Living With L​ions brochure and share it with your family, friends, and others in your neighborhood. 

It contains much of the information from this page and is a handy reference and reminder for anyone living in lion country.​​