With the recent sightings of mountain lions going up in Boulder due to less human activity, it’s important to understand what to do if you run into a mountain lion or a bear in the wild or even within city limits!

It’s important to stay calm if you encounter a bear and to provide less opportunities for bears to want to wander into human territory.

 

  • NEVER RUN. Running can make a bear chase you.
  • Keep your distance. Back slowly away facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Slowly and calmly leave the area. Talk aloud so the bear will become aware of you.
  • Be extra careful around a female with cubs. Never approach a cub.
  • Never throw food to distract a bear. This teaches a bear to approach people for food.
  • Fight back if attacked. Black bears have been driven away when people fight with rocks, sticks, binoculars, or even bare hands.
  • Don’t litter. Please dispose of all litter in bear-proof trash cans when you are in bear habitat. Remove it from the area if trash cans are full. Your consideration could save a bear’s life!
  • Report Sightings – follow the link under Black Bears and Mountain Lions or call 303-441-3440. This helps us keep both you and the bear safe. Call 911 if it’s an emergency.

If you encounter a mountain lion, be sure to let them know that you are not their usual target, and they are likely to leave you alone. As always, report if you see a mountain lion or bear.

When venturing into mountain lion habitat, go in groups and make plenty of noise in an effort to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. Make sure children are close to and under the supervision of adults. Teach children about mountain lions and what to do if they see one.

  • Do not approach lions. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give the lion a way to escape.
  • Stay calm if you come upon a lion. Talk to it in a firm voice in an effort to demonstrate that you are human and not its regular prey.
  • Back away slowly. Running may stimulate a lion’s instinct to chase and attack.
  • Face the lion and make an effort to appear as large as possible. Open your jacket or lift objects to appear like a more formidable opponent. Pick up your children.
  • If the lion behaves aggressively, throw rocks, sticks or whatever you can pick up, without turning your back to the lion or bending down.
  • If the lion would happen to attack, fight back. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back. Remain standing and keep attempting to get back up if you are brought to the ground.
Kaylee was raised (but not *technically* born) in Colorado. She graduated from Regis University with a bachelor of arts in English. During her time at Regis she worked as a teaching assistant in a freshman classroom setting and in the writing center helping students on a variety of topics. While there, she discovered Cura Personalis, or care for the entire person, leading to her love of feminism and desire for equal rights for all. Kaylee is the managing editor for AboutBoulder, OnDenver, and a key member of the OnMetro team, launching this platform in cities across the United States.