Mountain lion kills Vail resident’s dog at home | SummitDaily.com

Mountain lion kills Vail resident’s dog at home

Ross Leonhart
rleonhart@vaildaily.com

Mogul, a 2-year-old Cavalier King Charles, was killed by a mountain lion on Thursday, Jan. 21, at a home on Forest Road near Lionshead in Vail.

VAIL — A mountain lion entered a Vail resident's patio and killed a 2-year-old dog on Thursday, the second such killing in Eagle County in a week.

Kerry and Robbie Pearson's Cavalier King Charles spaniel was taken from the patio of their home on Forest Road near Lionshead Village around 6 a.m.

"I let him out every morning at the same time," Kerry Pearson said. "I was on the patio when it happened, it was just pitch black. I couldn't see anything, I just heard it."

Kerry immediately called the Colorado Parks and Wildlife for assistance when she couldn't find her dog Mogul, who weighs about 18 pounds. Eagle County Animal Control found the remains of the dog under the deck where the lion was first spotted.

“Any time a lion hunts and finds cover in a residential area, then continues to remain in the area, that is a cause for concern. In cases like this, we will not hesitate to take the appropriate action to protect human health and safety.”Perry WillArea wildlife manager

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The lion ran into the residential area, where police officers lost sight of it, prompting the advisory notices to surrounding residents.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers conclude that based on the lion's behavior, it is considered a threat to human health and safety.

"Any time a lion hunts and finds cover in a residential area, then continues to remain in the area, that is a cause for concern," said area wildlife manager Perry Will. "In cases like this, we will not hesitate to take the appropriate action to protect human health and safety."

Parks and Wildlife officers were unable to locate the animal and will continue to monitor the situation.

"There's construction all over the street, there's plenty of stuff going that you wouldn't think a mountain lion would just be hanging around here," Kerry Pearson said.

Pet owners were told via Eagle County Alert to bring their animals indoors following the attack Thursday.

LIVING IN Big Cat COUNTRY

On Thursday, Jan. 14, a dog was killed by a mountain lion in a resident's backyard in Red Cliff. Another dog was taken from a porch in Red Cliff earlier this winter, too.

The opportunistic animals have been seen throughout Red Cliff in the streets and on the hillsides.

"We've had cat sightings in the last few years, but we're more worried now. People have seen it," said Barb Smith, administrator and clerk for the town of Red Cliff. "Because of that, people are very nervous in town. … It's kind of a valleywide problem."

Mountain lions only exist in the Western Hemisphere and are one of North America's biggest cats, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. And while so far they haven't harmed any humans, it is still a possibility.

Parks and Wildlife officials remind people living in the High Country:

• Don't feed any wildlife.

• Avoid planting non-native shrubs and landscape to eliminate places where mountain lions can hide.

• Make noise when you come and go, especially during dusk and dawn.

• Install outside lighting and closely supervise children when playing outdoors.

• Keep your pet under control.

• Hike in groups and make plenty of noise.

• If you see a mountain lion, don't approach it. Stay calm, stop or back away slowly and do all you can to appear larger. If the animal behaves aggressively, then throw stones and fight back if need be.

• Communicate with neighbors about these tips.

"It's part of living in Colorado," said Bill Andree, of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "It's not just this year — the mountain lion population has been increasing over the last several years in Eagle County."

The public is asked to call the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department immediately at (970) 947-2920 if they see a mountain lion in their neighborhood.

"We are saddened by the loss of our little pup, Mogul," the Pearsons said. "Mogul was 2 years old and loved hiking Berrypicker and visiting all of the shops in the village for treats. They all know him in the village."

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at rleonhart@vaildaily.com and 970-748-2915. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

TIPS FOR LIVING WITH MOUNTAIN LIONS

Don’t feed any wildlife.

Avoid planting non-native shrubs and landscape to eliminate places mountain lions can hide.

Make noise when you come and go, especially during dusk and dawn.

Install outside lighting and closely supervise children when playing outdoors.

Keep your pet under control.

Hike in groups and make plenty of noise.

If you see a mountain lion, don’t approach it, stay calm, stop or back away slowly, do all you can to appear larger and if the animal behaves aggressively, then throw stones and fight back if need be.

Communicate with neighbors about these tips.

Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife