Mountain Lion Attacks Man Relaxing in Hot Tub in Colorado

It was the first reported mountain lion attack on a human in over a year

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A mountain lion attacked a man sitting in a hot tub with his wife at a rental home in Colorado on Saturday, according to wildlife officials.

The man said he felt something grab his head while he was in the in-ground hot tub around 8 p.m. before screaming at the mountain lion and splashing water at it, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials said. The wife shined her flashlight at the animal, allowing the couple to identify it as a mountain lion.

The commotion caused the mountain lion to retreat to the top of a hill, where it continued to watch the couple, according to CPW.

The couple got back into the rental home and cleaned out the man's scratches before calling the rental property owner, who happened to be a CPW employee. The owner then alerted CPW officials.

The man declined further medical assistance once CPW officials arrived at around 10 p.m. despite getting four superficial scratches on top of his head and near his right ear.

CPW officials were unable to track the mountain lion and placed a trap near the rental home. CPW said its officers will continue to monitor mountain lion activity in the nearby Nathrop area.

"We think it's likely the mountain lion saw the man’s head move in the darkness at ground-level but didn’t recognize the people in the hot tub," Area Wildlife Manager Sean Shepherd said. "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. We have alerted neighbors and posted signs warning of lion activity. And we will continue to track the lion and lion activity."

The March 18 incident is the first reported mountain lion attack on a human in Colorado since Feb. 27, 2022, according to CPW.

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