Monday, October 23, 2006

Colorado neighbors spot mountain lion in back yard

Mountain Lion Makes Rare Appearance In Gunbarrel Neighborhood

POSTED: 12:15 pm MDT October 22, 2006
UPDATED: 1:41 pm MDT October 22, 2006

GUNBARREL, Colo. -- It was an exciting weekend for some Boulder residents who spotted a mountain lion hopping from one back yard to the other Saturday morning.

Colorado's Division of Wildlife officers were in the Gunbarrel neighborhood hoping to track the mountain lion down.

They said they found tracks in one back yard.

"They don't hibernate so unlike bears, they could be out anytime feeding," said Claire Solohub of the Division of Wildlife.

"He just kind of marched across here (and) hopped up on the fence. We were standing right by the window watching him," said neighbor Bob Wientzen. "We could've practically reached out and touched him."

Wientzen said the mountain lion was larger than his dog and probably weighed 100 pounds or so.

"It's not something that happens everyday, though, and a lot of people will go their whole lives and not see a mountain lion," said Solohub.

While it was a little too close for comfort to have a mountain lion in some people's back yards, for the most part, neighbors said they were amazed they had the chance to see it in person.

"I've never seen a mountain lion before (and I) always wanted to," said Wientzen.

"It's the most exciting thing that's happened in Gunbarrel since I've lived here," said neighbor Dee George.

Many neighbors said any mountain lion sightings from a distance are well worth it.

"It's mountain lion country and they were here first, so we just need to be aware of them," said Wientzen.

Wildlife officials said this is the second mountain lion sighting in the area in the past two weeks. 10131815/detail.html

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