One Colorado family got the scare of a lifetime when they found a mountain lion hiding under their deck. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, the uninvited house guest was found last Thursday after the family cat sniffed out the 60-pound mountain lion.
The large wildcat was first discovered at a home in Englewood, a Colorado city about 10 miles south of Denver. Authorities were called to the house after the family’s cat named Wesley, sniffed the large animal while walking outside.
“We were walking with him, and he went under the deck and came jumping out with a really bushy tail,” Lily Rutledge-Ellison told local news station KDVR. Rutledge-Ellison said her boyfriend then checked under the deck and found the much larger version of their house pet peering back at him.
“I was like, ‘In Englewood? No way.’ That’s why I really didn’t believe it was a mountain lion. I thought maybe a bobcat,” Rutledge-Ellison told the outlet.
Local authorities estimated that the mountain lion was around two years old. They also believe it may have been looking for a food source at the time. They also said the animal’s body was in good health condition when the authorities discovered it.
“The reason we chose to go hands-on with this mountain lion was because it was so deep in the heart of the city,” Area Wildlife Manager Matt Martinez said in a press release.
“We are glad this operation worked out so smoothly for that neighborhood and for the mountain lion. We’d like to thank the Englewood Police Department and Code Enforcement for assisting us in getting that lion out safely.”
After authorities safely removed the big cat, they released the lion back into a “more appropriate habitat.”
Authorities Return Mountain Lion to Natural Habitat
The released video shows the female lion jumping out of the transport vehicle and back into its natural habitat. According to CPW, the mountain lion could have been the same animal that people notified officials about earlier this month.
On July 6, Colorado residents reported a mountain lion around 10 miles south of Englewood. They believed it might have moved its way to the family’s deck. However, authorities said there is no way to confirm it’s the same cat.
Mountain lions are generally peaceful predators and don’t attack humans, however, they sometimes come into cities for food. They could be looking for city deer, skunks, raccoons, pets, or livestock. Officials encourage those who spot mountain lions outside their typical habitat to contact a wildlife agency.
According to the experts, there have been fewer than 20 human fatalities in the past century due to cougar attacks. Moreso, the risk of being attacked by cougars is also “extremely low.”