Mountain lion attacks dog running with her owner near Nederland

A woman says she was running with her dog Monday in Nederland when a mountain lion attacked and severely injured the pet, which is now recovering at home.

The dog, a pit bull named Talia, suffered a skull fracture and puncture wounds on her head and neck, according to an account of the attack on a GoFundMe campaign set up to help owner Sarah Jane Romano pay her veterinarian bills.

After the incident, Talia spent the night at the Boulder Animal Hospital.

Romano is described on the GoFundMe page as a single mom, a dance teacher and a massage therapist. Romano and Talia are longtime running partners.

On Monday, Romano was able to shoo off the big cat before the frightening encounter got even worse.

“Talia has holes all over her and a stitched up huge gash on her inner thigh where the lion tried to open her up,” Romano wrote in a public post on her Facebook page. “I’m so lucky to have my little pit still with us.”

The mountain lion population in the foothills of Boulder County is very healthy, said Jason Clay, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman.

The agency was aware of Monday’s incident through social media accounts, Clay said.

Pending further review of the incident, Clay could not comment specifically about Monday’s attack, but in general, “it’s not uncommon for mountain lions to have interaction with pets,” Clay said. “Mountain lions will take pets as a prey source. They are opportunistic hunters.”

Anyone out with pets in the foothills of Boulder, Larimer and Jefferson counties should be aware and alert for possible encounters with wildlife, including mountain lions, Clay said. People should be especially alert from around dusk until after dawn, when the big cats are active and hunting.

Dogs should be on a leash for their protection and to minimize encounters with wildlife, he said.

“Be prepared for what can happen,” Clay said. “Do not run from a mountain lion, it will trigger their instinct to chase prey, and they will come after you.”

People who have encounters with big cats should make noise and make themselves look big by raising up their arms. Slowly back away and be prepared to fight, grab a stick or rock to use in your defense, should the animal attack. Recreationists in the foothills and backcountry should carry air horns or spray repellents as possible deterrents.

 

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