Horsetooth Mountain Open Space reopens following mountain lion attack

Jeffrey Lindblom

The trailheads at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space reopened Wednesday, after closing for eight days following a mountain lion attack in the area.

A man running along the trails of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space killed a mountain lion in self-defense Feb. 4, sustaining injuries to both his face and wrist. The next day, authorities closed the Horsetooth Mountain and Soderberg trailheads after finding two more mountains lions near the area.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife services’ assessment led to the eventual capture of two young mountain lions that will be transferred to a wildlife rehabilitation facility and later released back into the wild, according to a press release from Larimer County Natural Resources and the CPW.

According to the release, the capture of these particular lions does not guarantee the safety of the public, as the reopening of Horsetooth does not mean there are no mountain lions in the area, and there will always be a chance to encounter wildlife on the property.

“It’s important for people to recreate with wildlife in mind. We want people to enjoy these spaces, but we live close to these animals and we have to understand that there are times when you may come across something on the trail,” said Ty Petersburg, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in the release.

Though mountain lion attacks are rare, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds the public not to approach a lion, but if the situation arises to stay calm, back away slowly, appear larger, throw stones if the mountain lion behaves aggressively or fight back if you are attacked.

Jeffrey Lindblom can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @LindblomJeffrey.