Mountain lion feared in Manitou Springs
MANITOU SPRINGS, Colorado ” A mountain lion is roaming the streets of this southern Colorado city, and it has the locals on edge.
The tales of the big cat that have spread throughout this community of about 5,000 have reached folklore proportions. One woman claims the mountain lion cornered her in the hot tub enclosure of her home until police arrived.
Residents say they have spotted the animal near boulevards and avenues, and one couple claims they saw the mountain napping on their porch.
The stories have prompted residents to put up signs throughout the city, and e-mails have begun circulating with parents worried about their children. The mayor is even considering using the city’s reverse-911 system if sightings increase.
“I think what the city’s trying to do is pretty quickly develop a protocol for how to notify people,” Manitou Springs Mayor Eric Drummond said.
Others are not so sure the mountain lion poses a threat.
“There are mountain lions living near people all over the Western United States,” said Mike Seraphin with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Seraphin said wildlife officials have investigated some of the witness accounts and have separated fact from rumor. He said the mountain lion has not been aggressive toward humans and that the animal doesn’t warrant being destroyed or relocated.
However, he cautions people to keep their distance from mountain lions, even if attacks on humans are unlikely. There’s an estimated 7,000 mountain lions in Colorado.
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