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9 dogs killed near Nederland, wildlife officials offer safety tips

Colorado Parks and Wildlife held an informational meeting for residents near Nederland to educate them on mountain lion behavior and tips to mitigate encounters.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — After nine dogs were killed or taken by mountain lions in the Nederland area of Boulder County since August, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers offered an informational meeting for residents. 

There have been a total of 29 reported mountain lion incidents in 2022 – seven of those incidents involved mountain lions with aggressive behavior, according to wildlife officials. 

The meeting was well-attended at the Nederland Community Center by residents who wanted to learn more about how to handle mountain lion encounters on their property or while out on a walk or hiking a trail. 

Many of the residents asked questions about how to keep their pets safe. 

CPW District Wildlife Manager Samuel Peterson led the community discussion that talked about the density of mountain lions in different areas of the state. 

Peterson said there are many mountain lions on the edge of Boulder and the territories of different lions will overlap, with multiple lions sharing the same area. 

"There are four lions per 100 square kilometers – that means there are quite a few animals out on the landscape," said Peterson. He talked about minimizing conflicts with lions by removing things on a property that may attract a mountain lion to the area, usually to hunt. 

"Take down bird feeders to keep prey away, clean up hay falling out of the barn, don't feed the wildlife like deer or moose," Peterson said. "Around your home, change the lighting like adding motion lights or flood lights, noise makers can be effective in keeping them away, even turning on the radio with people talking will make them feel uncomfortable and they will leave." 

Peterson offered up a personal tip to the residents, "When I'm hiking by myself, I sing out loud to myself."

CPW offered tips on how to handle an encounter with a mountain lion, which include: 

  • Stay calm. 
  • Back away slowly. 
  • Do not run or turn your back on the animal.
  • Appear larger by holding a jacket above your head or holding your hands above your head. 
  • Carry children. 
  • Fight back if attacked. 

Wildlife officials encouraged residents to report all mountain lion incidents to CPW so that wildlife staff can map out sightings and decide how to deter the animal from the area.

"As a community, you can make a bigger impact," said Peterson.  

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