This unusual sighting captured on security cameras might strike some fear amongst Colorado residents: a mountain lion was seen taking a stroll inside an apartment complex.
As rare as instances like this are, the footage highlights the adaptability of mountain lions and their ability to navigate human-dominated landscapes. But perhaps also a sad reminder that we’ve severely infringed on their natural habitat.
Getting to Know Mountain Lions
Mountain lions, scientifically known as Puma concolor, are one of North America’s most majestic and elusive large cats. Adult males can weigh up to 220 pounds, while females are slightly smaller.
These solitary predators are known for their powerful limbs, enabling them to leap up to 40 feet horizontally and 15 feet vertically! They are primarily nocturnal and have a diverse diet, mainly consisting of deer, though they also consume smaller animals.
In What U.S. States Do You Find Mountain Lions?
Mountain lions once roamed nearly all of the United States. Today, they are primarily found in the western states, with a significant population in the Rocky Mountains, including Colorado. They also inhabit parts of Florida, where they are known as Florida panthers.
How Common Are Mountain Lion Attacks?
Contrary to popular belief, mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare.
According to wildlife experts, there are fewer than 30 fatalities resulting from mountain lion attacks in North America in over a century. These solitary creatures typically avoid human interaction and are more likely to flee than confront. However, in situations where they feel cornered or threatened, especially if they are sick or injured, they might attack.
Are Mountain Lions Dangerous?
Being apex predators, mountain lions are, of course, renowned for their remarkable hunting skills. Their powerful physique, including strong hind legs, enables explosive sprints and incredible leaps, essential for ambushing prey. Mountain lions employ a blend of patience and stealth, often stalking their prey before launching a swift, decisive attack.
While mountain lions are inherently wild animals with predatory instincts, they are not inherently dangerous to humans.
What You Should NOT Do During a Mountain Lion Encounter
- Do not run; this triggers predatory instincts.
- Avoid crouching or bending over as this makes you appear like prey.
- Do not turn your back or approach the animal.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Speak firmly and loudly.
- Appear larger by raising arms or opening jacket.
- If aggressive, throw stones or branches (do not bend down to pick them up).
- Always provide an escape route for the animal.
Mountain Lion Vs. Cougar
Despite the different names, “Mountain Lion” and “Cougar” refer to the same majestic feline, scientifically known as Puma concolor.
“Mountain Lion” is predominantly used in the western United States, reflective of its habitat in mountainous areas. Conversely, “Cougar,” derived from an old South American Indian word “cuguacuarana,” is more common in Canada and the eastern United States.
Mountain Lion Inside Apartment Complex: Conclusion
The sighting of a mountain lion inside an apartment complex is an extremely rare occurrence, especially considering their elusive nature. While we’re quick to label it as wildlife trespassing on our property, we should remember that it’s actually the other way around – they’ve been here way longer than we have.
Thank you for reading this story about the mountain lion inside a Colorado apartment complex! Keep exploring the lives of these big cats: