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Mountain lion on the prowl in Aurora

Residents should take precautions to protect their pets after recent mountain lion sightings.

AURORA, Colo. — A mountain lion has recently been sighted in Aurora. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said a mountain lion was spotted on Aug. 24 and Aug. 27 next to Rocky Ridge Park near East Mississippi and South Chambers Road.

The lion was also captured on security camera footage jumping over a fence.

CPW said that while it is uncommon for a mountain lion to be in Aurora or east of Interstate 25, it's not unheard of. CPW has received 12 reports of mountain lions being sighted east of Interstate 25 in the Denver metro area this year.

> Above video: How to be prepared in mountain lion country.

CPW said the area of Aurora that includes Rocky Ridge Park, Horseshoe Park and the Toll Gate Creek Trail is home to high densities of raccoons, which mountain lions will prey on.

The primary food source of mountain lions is deer, so where there are deer, there is a potential to have mountain lions as well. Mountain lions will also prey on skunks, pets, livestock and more, CPW said.

CPW stated Aurora residents should protect their pets and livestock from any predators that may be in the area whether that be a mountain lion, bear, coyote, bobcat, fox and others.

Residents should not leave pets outside on their own overnight unless they are in a fully-enclosed kennel. Pet owners should also keep a watchful eye when they are outside and look in your yard before letting your pets out for any other animals that may be there. Never leave pets alone outside during the dusk and dawn hours when mountain lions are most active.

Homeowners should also haze away any other wildlife that a mountain lion may prey on such as raccoons, skunks and deer. According to CPW, if you remove the food sources, the mountain lions will go to another area.

Mountain lions have the largest geographic range of any American native mammal other than humans – from western Canada to Argentina, according to CPW. Mountain lions historically inhabited most ecosystems in Colorado, but currently most viable populations are in the foothill and mountainous regions of the state.

An estimated 3,800 to 4,400 independent/mature mountain lions live in Colorado.

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Credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife