Wildlife Officials: Colorado Man Clawed by Mountain Lion While Sitting in Hot Tub

Mountain Lion
Getty Images/JHaviv

Colorado Wildlife officials say a man was “clawed in the head by a mountain lion” while he was relaxing in a hot tub on Saturday night.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said in a press release that the agency conducted a search for a suspected mountain lion after wildlife officers responded to a residence around 10 p.m. on Saturday night in a “heavily wooded” neighborhood of Chaffee County.

The press release stated, “he felt something grab his head” while the victim and his wife were soaking in a hot tub:

The victim told the officers he and his wife were sitting in a hot tub, which is located in the ground and away from the house, at about 8 p.m. when he felt something grab his head. He and his wife began screaming and splashing water at the animal. The victim’s wife grabbed a flashlight and shined it on the animal, which they then identified as a mountain lion.

Wildlife officers were unable to find tracks due to the winter weather but did set a trap in hopes of catching the animal, per the press release.

CPW noted that the man sustained minor injuries but did not seek medical attention, having cleaned the wounds himself. The agency noted the marks were “consistent with the claw of a mountain lion.”

Sean Shepherd, a CPW official in the area, remarked that wildlife officials suspect “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.”

He added that the couple’s startled reaction and use of a flashlight likely scared the animal off, saying they “did the right thing.” 

Indeed, another press release by CPW advises those who encounter mountain lions, “[m]ake yourself look big” and “[a]nnounce your presence in an authoritative voice.” 

The press release noted that officials have let neighbors know about the incident and have posted warnings about the presence of a mountain lion in the area.


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