Living in an area where there is an abundance of wildlife can be a real challenge for pet owners. This isn't just because of disease that can be carried by squirrels or the stink a skunk can raise. In very, and terribly, real terms, our cats and dogs are prey animals to the predators that are encroaching on our cities. These animals include mountain lions, coyotes, and birds of prey.

Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion

Image via Wikimedia

I live in Boulder, Colorado and the city teems with wildlife. This includes, and is not limited to, mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, toads, snails, birds, foxes, coyotes, deer, elk, bears, and mountain lions. It's truly a wild life living here.

This past week this fact has come very, very close to home for me. Just one block over, in fact. I heard it first from the contractor working on my home. He lives in the neighborhood too. There was a mountain lion hanging out in our mobile home park and, tragically, it had killed three beloved neighbor cats already. My cat immediately suffered being kept in after dark. She did not accept this gracefully.

Ranger with Tranquilized Mountain Lion
Ranger with Tranquilized Mountain Lion

Photo by Adam Brucker, Image via 9News

On Wednesday afternoon the big cat was spotted napping under a neighbor's deck. City Rangers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife were called in to deal with the situation. They tranquilized the young female and loaded her into a cage. She was tagged and released back into the wild. If she is captured in the city again she will be put down.

Tranquilized Mountain Lion
Tranquilized Mountain Lion

Photo by Geneva Bailey, Used by Permission

Mountain Lion Loaded into Transport Cage
Tranquilized Mountain Lion

Photo by Geneva Bailey, Used by Permission

This is hardly an isolated event for the city. Earlier this month a mountain lion became trapped in a home after it had broken in through a screen door. It couldn't manage to get back out again. By the time the family came home and discovered their unintentional guest their cat had been killed. It took wildlife officers an hour to safely chase the lion from the house.

Mountain Lion Trapped in Boulder Home
Mountain Lion Trapped in Boulder Home

Image via The Denver Channel

To help make sure your pets are safe from wildlife you should keep them indoors at night. don't feed pets  outside. This can draw animals like raccoons and other animals that predators could be tracking.  Keep doors and windows closed and locked at night to make access to your home very difficult.  Remove landscaping that gives predators cover, and plant vegetation that won't attract deer and thereby predators. You can also spray your plants with a deer repellent. Reducing prey in your area will help reduce the likelihood of predators.

Above all, stay safe yourself. Do not get between a mountain lion and your pet. You are also prey.

Sources: Daily Camera, 9News, The Denver Channel

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