Mountain lion claws man hot-tubbing in Colorado High Country |

Mountain lion claws man hot-tubbing in Colorado High Country

The attack happened Saturday night near Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Tracy Ross
The Colorado Sun
Colorado Parks and Wildlife says a mountain lion attacked a man sitting in an in-ground hot tub with his wife on Saturday night. The agency had planned to kill about half of the mountain lions in the Upper Arkansas River Basin between Leadville and Salida, like this one, in the region of the attack.
U.S. National Park Service/Courtesy photo

NATHROP — A man hot-tubbing in a backyard near Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort on Saturday night was clawed by a mountain lion that left four superficial scratches on his head and right ear, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported.

The man cleaned his wounds and refused medical treatment when Parks and Wildlife arrived. 

He and his wife were lounging in the tub, set into the ground, when a lion grabbed the man’s skull. The two began screaming and splashing the lion with water and the victim’s wife found a flashlight and shined it on the animal. But neither the splashing nor the light scared the cat, which retreated only 20 feet away from the couple, watched them and then repositioned itself to a hill above them, where it crouched down and continued watching. 

Parks and Wildlife said two officers arrived shortly after a call from the owner of the property and began searching the surroundings. No tracks were found, as the ground was frozen. Area Wildlife Manager Sean Shepherd said the officers set a trap and “it’s likely the mountain lion saw the man’s head move in the darkness at ground level, but didn’t recognize the people in the hot tub. 

“The couple did the right thing by making noise and shining a light on the lion. Although this victim had only minor injuries, we take this incident seriously,” Shepherd said. “We have alerted neighbors and posted signs warning of lion activity. And we will continue to track the lion and lion activity.”

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