Much of Colorado, including the Front Range, is prime mountain lion country. This simple fact is a surprise to many residents and visitors. These large, powerful predators have always lived here, preying on plentiful deer and playing an important role in the ecosystem.
The mountain lion, commonly known as cougar, panther, or puma, exists only in the Western Hemisphere and is one of North America's biggest cats. In Colorado, population estimates range from 3,000 to 7,000 mountain lions. A lion's natural life span is probably about 12 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. Lions are very powerful and usually kill large animals, such as deer and elk. Natural enemies include other large predators such as bears, lions, and wolves. They also fall victim to accidents, disease, road hazards, and people.
You may live in or recreate in lion country. Like any wildlife, mountain lions can be dangerous. With a better understanding of mountain lions and their habitat, we can coexist with these magnificent animals.