VAIL, Colo. — An emaciated mountain lion was euthanized for its poor condition after it entered the main lobby of a Vail condominium property, police said Tuesday.
The mountain lion was spotted twice on Saturday in and near resort properties in the Lionshead Village area, the Vail Police Department (VPD) said.
After the animal went into the condominium building lobby, VPD officers confined it to a secure area. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers responded and were able to tranquilize the mountain lion, police said.
"The animal was severely emaciated and in poor condition, which likely contributed to its desire to be in close proximity to humans. As a result, the animal was euthanized," according to VPD in a Facebook post.
> Video above: Man fights off mountain lion that was attacking his dog, from February 2021.
VPD said that mountain lion sightings are rare and that this type of behavior from a mountain lion is unusual.
According to CPW, interactions between humans and mountain lions have increased recently, due to more people living in lion habitat and a presumed rise in the number of lions.
CPW offered some tips on living in mountain lion habitat:
- Go in groups when walking or hiking and make plenty of noise to avoid surprising a lion.
- Don't approach a mountain lion, especially one that's feeding or is with kittens.
- If you come upon a lion, stay calm. Talk calmly and firmly, and move slowly.
- Stop or back away slowly, if you can do so safely. Running might trigger the lion's instinct to chase and attack.
- Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms, open your jacket if you're wearing one.
- Protect children by picking them up so they won't panic and run.
- If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches or whatever you can without crouching down or turning your back.
- Fight back if the lion attacks you.
If you encounter a lion, contact CPW, the Colorado State Patrol or the local Sheriff's Office.
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