Wildlife officials are worried that two relocated juvenile mountain lions have returned to Boulder, and said they might need to kill the animals if they continue to stay in town.
The two animals, a brother and sister, in April were relocated up the North St. Vrain Creek after they were spotted numerous times in the Wonderland Hills neighborhood.
But Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Jason Clay said officials believe both animals may have made their way back to north Boulder. There have been several sightings of tagged mountain lions, including one on a backyard camera on Monday.
“We have a real concern about these juvenile lions learning to hunt in town around the people and schools,” Clay said. “We tried to get these mountain lions out of town and they came right back.”
Clay said if the pair continue to hang out in populated areas, they might have to be killed.
“If those two continue to hunt in town, we will have to remove them because public safety will be the priority,” Clay said. “We really hope that they move on, and have previously conducted hazing tactics in an attempt to discourage their comfort level being in that neighborhood. If they stay outside of town avoiding human conflicts, then we will have no reason to bug them.”
For now, wildlife officials are just keeping an eye on the situation and attempting to confirm if the recently spotted animals are the relocated pair, Clay said. A third sibling and their mother are still believed to live in the area, but have been much more reluctant to venture into town, he said.
“Those two juveniles in particular have just been so visual,” Clay said. “The third juvenile is a little more shy, or not frequently hunting right in town that we know of, which is to its advantage. The mother also seems to stay out of that neighborhood, or at least she hasn’t been spotted there recently like her other two cubs.”