Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) made the difficult decision to euthanize a mountain lion after it walked into a property in Vail.

According to a Facebook post from the Vail Police Department (VPD), the incident occurred on Saturday (Jan. 8), when the animal entered the lobby of a local condominium in the Lionshead Village area, where residents had spotted it multiple other times.

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Police officers worked with property management to corral the mountain lion into a secure area so that CPW's wildlife officials could tranquilize it. After subduing the animal, officials noticed that it was "severely emaciated and in poor condition" and decided to euthanize it.

"The Vail Police Department would like to inform guests and residents that this type of behavior from a mountain lion is unusual," read the post. "While mountain lions are native to Eagle County, they are typically elusive and sightings are rare."

The mountain lion euthanized in Vail. Courtesy of Vail Police Department // Facebook.
The mountain lion euthanized in Vail. Courtesy of Vail Police Department // Facebook.
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VPD noted that the animal likely sought out human contact because of its deteriorating condition.

To deter mountain lions, CPW recommends the following tips:

  • Make lots of noise when heading outside during dusk or dawn.
  • Install outside lighting in areas where you walk.
  • Keep an eye on children when they are playing outdoors.
  • Remove vegetation that mountain lions can hide in.
  • Do not plant non-native species that attract deer.
  • Keep pets and livestock secured indoors at night.

In the event of a mountain lion encounter, the agency suggests that you face the animal, back away from it slowly, and make yourself appear bigger by raising your arms and throwing branches or stones.

To report a mountain lion sighting, contact your local CPW office.

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