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Man encounters mountain lion, experts assess your risk

Mountain Lion Sighting

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - A Manitou Springs man encountered three mountain lions outside his home, and he caught it on camera. But experts say whether or not this could happen to you depends on where you live.

John Vomastic lives in the Crystal Park Community. He said he's used to seeing wildlife around his home, and he calls it a privilege to share the space with animals. He even set up cameras and sensors that alert him when there are wild animals nearby.

But he said the latest sighting was a little frightening. One of the mountain lions got close and put his paws up at the window.

"The only thing that was protecting me from that big cat was a piece of glass," Vomastic said.

Mountain lion sightings in his neighborhood aren't uncommon. Michael Seraphin of Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it's a habitat well-suited for mountain lions.

"(There's) plenty of open space, no other houses in view, a nice valley, a place where you'd be likely to find deer," Seraphin said.

So Vomastic's sighting wasn't out of the ordinary. Seraphin said he doesn't expect more sightings in different habitats. But he has some advice for what to do in the case of a mountain lion encounter.

"Make yourself look tall and erect," he said. "Put your arms up. If you have a coat, open it up. Slowly back away. If you are with others, form a group."

He said the best advice is to be aware and use common sense.

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