Look out for increased mountain lion activity in winter. Simple precautions can help reduce the risk of mountain lions near your home.

Winter is almost here, and mountain lion activity is expected to increase in Boulder. Activity near town and populated areas becomes more common during the colder months as mountain lions head to lower elevations to find food.

Though mountain lion sightings and pet depredation do occur in Boulder, the risk to humans is extremely low. We encourage community members to take precautions and be prepared if they encounter a mountain lion. Here are a few tips on what to do if you encounter a mountain lion and how to discourage lions from visiting your property:

  • Do not approach a lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Stay calm when you come upon a lion. Talk calmly and firmly to it.
  • Stop or back away slowly if you can do so 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, protect them by picking them up so they won't panic and run.

To reduce the risk of problems with mountain lions on or near your property:

  • Install outdoor lighting.
  • Do not leave pets outside unattended, especially in the dark, dusk or dawn.
  • Supervise children when outdoors.
  • Make your yard less attractive. Remove access to potential food sources, including pets and livestock.
  • For more tips, visit the city’s website.

Mountain lions have been a part of the Front Range ecosystem for thousands of years. They are both territorial and solitary. When a mountain lion establishes its territory, it is often the only lion in that area. If a mountain lion leaves its territory, another mountain lion takes it over. Because of this, removing or relocating lions observed in the city does not reduce potential conflict. Rather, the focus is on building education and awareness about lions in the community. Relocation and removal of lions from the city is reserved for individual animals that pose a direct threat to humans through abnormal or aggressive behavior.

To learn more about mountain lions or to report a mountain lion sighting in the city, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.