CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (KXRM) — A mountain lion attacked a Colorado man as he relaxed in a hot tub over the weekend, according to wildlife officials.
The man said he was sitting with his wife in the in-ground hot tub at a rental property in Nathrop, roughly 100 miles west of Colorado Springs, Saturday night when the mountain lion attacked.
While speaking with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) Southeast Region, the man explained he and his wife were sitting in the hot tub “when he felt something grab his head.” The couple screamed and splashed water at the animal, which they were able to identify as a mountain lion when the victim’s wife shined a flashlight on it.
The mountain lion backed up about 20 feet from the couple, and as they continued to scream at the animal, it moved up to the top of a hill where it crouched down and watched them.
When the couple got inside the rental home, they cleaned the scratches and called the property’s owner, a CPW employee who alerted officers.
When officers arrived, they began searching for the mountain lion, but due to the freezing temperatures and frozen snow on the ground, no tracks were found. Later, a trap was set up nearby in hopes of catching the animal.
“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,” said Sean Shepherd, Area Wildlife Manager based in Salida.
CPW said the mountain lion caused four scratches on the top of the man’s head and near his right ear. The man declined medical assistance for the injuries, which authorities described as minor.
Shepherd said the couple did the right thing by making noise and shining a light on the mountain 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.”
According to CPW, Saturday’s incident is the first reported mountain lion attack on a human in Colorado since Feb. 27, 2022.
To learn more about mountain lions in Colorado and what to do in the rare case you encounter one, click here.
This is the 24th known attack of a mountain lion causing injury to a human in Colorado since 1990. Three of those attacks resulted in human deaths.