BOULDER — A mountain lion was able to enter a home in Boulder Thursday night, getting stuck in the house and killing a house cat before being safely shepherded out.
Wildlife officers believe the mountain lion was able to get into the home on the 400 block of Marine Street by pushing through a screen door, said Shannon Aulabaugh, public information officer with the City of Boulder. A news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the mountain lion was likely trying to get to a cat inside.
Once inside, the mountain lion was not able to get back out of the house and ended up roaming around.
Luckily, the residents were home at the time.
Ross Bryant, one of the renters of the home, returned at around 10:40 p.m. and found the mountain lion inside.
"There were two doors, so I opened the screen and this creature popped up and we made eye contact and I realized there was a mountain lion in my living room," Bryant said.
He also saw fur in the living room and realized the cat that was home at the time had been killed.
Bryant said he slowly closed the door and ran. Then, he immediately started calling the other renters to make sure everyone was okay.
"I called Matt and Kayla who live in the main house and made sure everyone was out of the house," Bryant said. "I wanted to make sure they were okay, that their 2-year-old was out of the house. Everyone was out, which was a miracle."
Then, he called animal control.
CPW officers and police spent over an hour coaxing the mountain lion out of the home by using non-lethal bean-bag rounds, the release said. It eventually left by the front door after midnight.
"Once it got out, it ran up the street," said Jason Clay, a spokesman for CPW. "There [were] a dozen or so Boulder police officers on hand with our wildlife officer so they looked around the neighborhood and alleys to see if the [mountain lion] was around. No sign of it, so they assumed it went up into the foothills."
Aulabaugh said this type of encounter is "unheard of in the City of Boulder and very worrisome to CPW."
They ask homeowners in the area to be extra cautious and to keep ground level doors and windows closed and locked at night.
"It was really exciting but it was also kind of alarming because it’s a wild animal," said next door neighbor, Jessie Frankel. She and her children watched the events unfold from inside their home Thursday night. "It's like being at a zoo but this is inside a residence, so it took a whole different level."
Frankel has lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade, and said wildlife sightings are not uncommon. However, she said animals rarely get inside a home.
"It definitely just made us think, [and] we were definitely already doing this, but just to keep doors and windows closed and not having any first level windows open or anything that would be accessible," she said.
CPW also said they will have extra officers in the area Friday and over the weekend to make sure the mountain lion does not return.