State wildlife officials have put the residents of a Colorado community on high alert after one pet dog was killed and two others were injured in a string of mountain lion attacks dating back to mid-December 2022. The most recent attack occurred in the town of Grand Lake, Colorado on January 23 when a mountain lion snatched a dog off the front porch of its owner’s home. The two previous incidents occurred near Shadow Mountain Reservoir, just south of Grand Lake. Two of the involved lions were euthanized as a result of the attacks.

According to a Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) press release, the January 23 attack occurred around 10 a.m. while the owner was returning home with the dog from a walk. The owner successfully freed the dog from the lion’s grasp, then scared the big cat away. The injured dog was taken to a nearby veterinarian.

“Wildlife officers located the mountain lion by following tracks in the snow to a tree located near the home,” explains CPW. “Based on information about the incident from the dog owner, the wildlife officer determined there was a threat to human health and safety, and made the decision to euthanize the mountain lion. The lion was determined to be a sub-adult female.”

The first mountain lion attack in the area occurred on December 19 right outside the door of a dog owner’s home. The owner let the dog outside around 10 p.m. when a mountain lion attacked it. The dog was injured, but the mountain lion fled after the owner swung the door open, hitting the lion in the process.

On January 19, an off-leash dog was grabbed by a 7-year-old female lion that was hiding under its owner’s porch. The owner was unable to free the dog, and it was killed during the attack. “After attempts to scare the mountain lion were unsuccessful, the mountain lion was shot and killed by the dog owner’s husband,” CPW said. “After investigating, the responding wildlife officer determined there was a threat to human health and safety and did not ticket the dog owner.”

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In the wake of these recent attacks on pets, as well as others elsewhere in the state, CPW is advising dog owners to thoroughly check backyards and turn on outdoor flood lights before letting dogs out at night. When walking dogs, the agency recommends keeping them on a leash until safely inside the home. Children should also be supervised when spending time outside, especially during dawn-to-dusk hours.

“These are unfortunate situations,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington. “Incidents like these serve as a good reminder that we live in mountain lion country and being aware of our surroundings is important.”