Mountain Lion Shot Dead After Attacking Colorado Sheriff's Deputy in Incident Caught on Video

A mountain lion was shot dead in Colorado yesterday afternoon after attacking a sheriff's deputy during a dramatic close encounter that was partially caught on camera.

The incident took place as local sheriff's deputies and game wardens from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) responded to the 2100 block of River Rim Road in unincorporated Larimer County/Loveland at about 2 p.m., having received a report the same animal had attacked a resident.

Deputies said they arrived at the scene and spotted the animal, later tracking it as it moved into a trailer park. It was there the wild mountain lion lashed out at a female deputy.

Footage of the attack, taken by a resident and published by news outlet KDVR, shows the animal on top of the officer with its jaws dangerously close to her head.

The deputy is seen trying to fight off the animal with her bare hands. It flees when more colleagues rush to her aid.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office confirmed on Wednesday that shots were fired at the lion, but it continued to flee. It made its way across a river and close to a home on Black Crow Road near Highway 34, where it was killed by a CPW warden.

Authorities said an injured citizen and female deputy were transported by ambulance to local hospitals with "apparent but non-life-threatening injuries inflicted by the animal."

Police said the investigation will be spearheaded by the CPW from this point on.

In a statement about the incident yesterday, the CPW said: "Officers responded to the scene of the attack and killed the mountain lion because it was a threat to human safety."

The agency added: "We do not have reason to believe there are any further public safety concerns. We will be collecting samples from the lion to submit for disease and DNA analysis."

Officers responded to the scene of the attack and killed the mountain lion because it was a threat to human safety. We do not have reason to believe there is any further public safety concerns.

We will be collecting samples from the lion to submit for disease and DNA analysis. https://t.co/2cGkW4XFHf

— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) March 11, 2020

A resident of the park, identified as Gregory Scott Paul, told The Coloradoan he saw the female deputy just before the attack, when officers asked him to get inside his trailer for protection.

"It started creeping towards them a little bit and they took three or four shots at it," he said. "It lunged at the lady deputy from about 10 feet away. She put her arm up and it got her on the right shoulder. Luckily she did that 'cause if not it probably would have gotten her right on the neck."

Paul estimated the mountain lion was about six feet in length. The CPW said it was the region's 23rd mountain lion attack on humans since 1990.

State wildlife officials explain in a fact-sheet that the animal is Colorado's largest cat, with adult mountain lions reaching more than six feet long and weighing 130 pounds or more.

In the event of an encounter, it advises: "Stay calm if you come upon a lion. Talk calmly yet firmly to it. Move slowly. Stop or back away slowly. Do not run. Raise your arms to appear larger. If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches, or whatever you can get your hands on. Do not crouch down or turn your back. Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back."

Mountain lion (stock photo)
File photo: A mountain lion was shot dead in Colorado yesterday after attacking a sheriff’s office deputy during a dramatic encounter that was partially caught on camera. iStock