On March 18, a mountain lion attacked a man while taking a soak in a hot tub with his wife at a rental property in Chaffee County, Colorado, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers.
The man and his wife reported that he felt something grab him on the head, and they began to yell and splash water at the animal. After shining a flashlight on it, they noticed it was a mountain lion.
The light and noise startled the creature, and it scampered away, only to watch them from the top of a hill. The two hurried back into the house, and the victim had four light scratches on his head and near his ear.
CPW concluded that the mountain lion’s claws caused the scratches. However, they could not find any tracks due to the frozen snow and cold temperatures. They set a trap nearby in the hope of catching the animal.
Sean Shepherd, the local wildlife manager based in Salida, stated that it is likely that the mountain lion did not recognize the individuals in the hot tub and only saw the man’s head movement, which was situated at a lower elevation.
CPW has alerted the neighbors and posted signs to warn of mountain lion activity. They are also asking residents to be on the lookout for any sightings of the wildcat and contact their Salida office during the day or Colorado State Patrol after business hours.
This is the first mountain lion attack on a human in Colorado this year and the 24th since 1990. Unfortunately, three other attacks since 1990 have resulted in human deaths.