Yamashita says based on the reports he has received from Edwards residents, it appears there are two females in the area, each with a litter of 3 or 4 juvenile lions.
“The young lions are nearly full grown, as large or possibly larger than their mother,” said Yamashita. “It appears the female lions are teaching their young to hunt among a human populated area. Considering we are talking about nearly full-grown lions, this is not a sustainable situation. We will take the appropriate management action as necessary, but what the action will be remains to be seen and will be based on our assessment of public risk and the lion's behavior going forward.”
CPW officials say once a predator has lost its natural fear of people, they can become a direct threat to human health and safety.
“This is a troubling situation and we are very concerned for the safety and welfare of the people in this area,” said Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke. “We ask everyone to take this warning seriously.“
Mountain lions tend to be solo hunters, unless they are part of a family group, such as these cats are alleged to be. The usual litter for mountain lions is two cubs. These cats are doing very well. To have two females, each with larger than average litters suggests a reliable food supply.
Maybe there were large numbers of domestic dogs and cats missing from Edwards? Mountain lions have been known to prey on domestic dogs and cats.
Edwards is a large, unincorporated community with a population of over 10,000, and an area of about 27 square miles. That is only one person for every 1 3/4 acres, about one-tenth the density of the average suburb in the United States.
A man fought off a mountain lion attack with his bare hands less than three weeks ago, in Larimer County, Colorado, about 150 miles Northeast of Edwards.
They usually attack from ambush, without warning, often from behind. That happened to a runner in Colorado. But the runner was not listening to music on earbuds or headphones. He heard something. He started to turn around. He saw the lion launching itself at him.
South of Colorado, in New Mexico, a mountain lion killed and ate a man in 2008. From wildlife.state.nm.us:
PINOS ALTOS, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services captured and killed a second mountain lion Tuesday morning resulting from the search for the lion that killed a Pinos Altos man. The first lion was caught and killed June 24 and may have been the one that killed and partially ate 55-year-old Robert Nawojski June 17 or 18 near his Pinos Altos home.
Mountain lions not as tough as bears. They are thinner skinned and have lighter bones. Most handguns would be useful in stopping a mountain lion. Many have been killed with .22 rimfires. One was killed with a boar spear as it attacked a man's wife in Canada, in 2013. I would carry something with more power than a .22 if I were concerned with mountain lions.
It has always been legal to openly carry firearms in Colorado without a permit openly. Colorado has a shall issue concealed carry permit that is not too difficult to obtain. It costs about $100 to $200 for everything involved, depending on whether training is needed. The permit requires renewal every five years.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.