Parker issues warning after mountain lions spotted

PARKER, Colo. - The town of Parker is warning residents to watch for mountain lions.

Even though the town is 20 miles from the foothills, the town sent an email our Thursday evening warning that there have been mountain lion sightings in town recently.

"We will be increasing patrols where sightings have been reported," the email said. However, the town did not list those locations.

The town did tell residents:

- When you walk or hike, go in groups and make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. A sturdy walking stick can be used to ward off a lion. Make sure children are close to you and within your sight at all times.

- Do not approach a lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

- Stay calm if you come upon a lion. Talk calmly, yet firmly to it. Move slowly.

- Stop or back away slowly, if you can do it safely. Running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright.

- Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you're wearing one. If you have small children with you, protect them by picking them up so they won't panic and run.

- If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches or whatever you can get your hands on without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly. What you want to do is convince the lion you are not prey and that you may in fact be a danger to the lion.

- Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back. People have fought back with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools and their bare hands successfully. Remain standing or try to get back up.