A man was attacked by a mountain lion while soaking in an in-ground hot tub in Chaffee County over the weekend. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the incident occurred around 8 p.m. on Saturday while the man and his wife were enjoying the hot tub away from their rental home.
The man reported feeling something grab his head and immediately started yelling and splashing water at the animal. His wife grabbed a flashlight and shined it on the lion, prompting the big cat to retreat about 20 feet away from the couple and their hot tub. The couple continued to yell at the lion, and it eventually moved up to the top of a nearby hill where it crouched down and continued to watch them.
The couple was eventually able to safely exit the hot tub and make it back to their rental home. The man suffered four superficial scratches from the lion’s claws but declined medical treatment. The rental home’s owner was contacted and called CPW for assistance.
Despite searching the area, wildlife officers were unable to locate the lion due to freezing temperatures and frozen snow on the ground. They set a trap nearby in hopes of capturing the animal. Officials have alerted neighbors and posted signs warning of lion activity in the area.
“We think it’s likely the mountain lion saw the man’s head move in the darkness but didn’t recognize the people in the hot tub,” said Sean Shepherd, a CPW area wildlife manager. “The couple did the right thing by making noise and shining a light on the lion. Although this victim had only minor injuries, we take this incident seriously. And we will continue to track the lion and lion activity.”
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