Trap-kill may be only option for West Glenwood mountain lions | VailDaily.com | VailDaily.com

Trap-kill may be only option for Glenwood mountain lions

Alex Zorn
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Still image from an infrared nighttime video that has been shared around extensively on social media this week of four mountain lions cruising a West Glenwood Springs neighborhood.

Reports of mountain lion sightings in West Glenwood continued this week as a video of four lions walking through one neighborhood circulated on social media and was aired on television news broadcasts.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s game warden for Glenwood Springs, Dan Cacho, said he believed the four lions to be a mother with three fairly mature cubs. After trapping and euthanizing a lion near Traver Trail in West Glenwood last week, Cacho confirmed that wildlife officials trapped and killed another lion off Juniper Court this week.

He said more traps have been set in the Oasis Creek area in West Glenwood after the recent sightings.

“These lions have set up their home territory in West Glenwood and Oasis Creek area, and because of human health and safety issues we feel we need to trap and remove these animals as quickly as we can,” he explained.

While CPW continues to receive calls from residents asking them to transport the animals rather than putting them down, Cacho said relocating mountain lions has become increasingly difficult on the Western Slope.

Wherever there is mountain habitat on the West Slope that’s not near human populations, he said there are most likely healthy mountain lions already living there, making the addition of another lion dangerous for both animals.

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“If there is a healthy lion in that area, then we are just setting them up for failure,” Cacho added. “We have to euthanize them for human health and safety.”

Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said he has not been getting a ton of calls regarding the recent mountain lion activity in West Glenwood, but said he’s watching for activity and will assist CPW officials as needed.

“We will assist them with what they feel is most important,” Wilson said.

Wilson invited Cacho to speak at the Thursday night’s Glenwood Springs City Council meeting to update city officials of their efforts.

“We are attempting to trap more lions in the north Traver Trail area. They are still very active,” Cacho said at Thursday’s meeting.

Anyone who has an encounter with a mountain lion in the area is asked to immediately contact the local Division of Wildlife office at 970-947-2920.

According to CPW, individual lions can range in areas varying from 10 to 370 square miles. The size of the home range will depend on the terrain and how much food is available. Females with young kittens will often use the smallest area.

More information on living with mountain lions here.