Mountain lion sighting prompts warning to Colorado Springs residents

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police in Colorado Springs are warning residents to be cautious after a mountain lion was spotted roaming the streets Friday morning.

According to a tweet sent by police, the cat was seen in the area of Manitou Boulevard and Monument Street on the west side of Colorado Springs.

Police say Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials were notified of the sighting.

Mountain lion sightings in Colorado have increased over the past couple of years as more people move into the animal’s habitat, according to wildlife officials.

An uptick in the deer population has also contributed to recent sightings.

Live near mountain lion territory? Follow these tips to keep you, your family and your pets safe:

  • Go in groups when you walk or hike in mountain lion country and make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. A sturdy walking stick is a good idea; it can be used to ward off a lion.
  • Make sure children are close to you and within your sight at all times. Talk with children about lions and teach them what to do if they meet one.
  • Do not approach a lion, especially one who is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation.
  • Give them a way to escape.
  • Stay calm when you come upon a lion. Talk calmly and 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, then protect them by picking them up so they won't panic and run.
  • If the lion behaves aggressively, then 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 you may in fact be a danger to the lion.
  • Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey which 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.
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