NATROPE, Colorado — Wildlife officials said Monday they are looking for a mountain lion that scratched the head of a man while he was sitting in a hot tub with his wife at a rental home in central Colorado.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the man was soaking in his underground hot tub in a wooded area west of Nathrop Saturday night when he felt something grab his head. He yelled at the mountain lion and started spraying water while his wife was highlighting the animal.
Authorities said they retreated to a hilltop and continued to monitor the couple.
The man and his wife were able to get home, where they cleaned his wounds and called his landlord, who happened to work for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The man had four superficial scratches on the top of his head and near his right ear, but refused medical treatment.
“We think it’s possible that the mountain lion saw the man’s head moving in the dark at ground level but didn’t recognize the people in the hot tub,” said Sean Shepherd, Salida District Wildlife Director. “The couple did the right thing by making noise and putting a spotlight on the lion.”
State wildlife officers immediately began searching for the big cat along a steep ridge near a creek but were unable to find any tracks in the frozen snow. But they set a trap nearby and will continue to monitor mountain lion activity near Natrobe, a mountainous area known for its outdoor activities.
Saturday night’s encounter was the first reported mountain lion attack on a person in Colorado since February 2022. Wildlife officials say at least 27 people have been injured in mountain lion attacks in Colorado since 1990, three of them killed.
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