Mountain lions out + about in Boulder

Lion activity in town is high, but normal for the season

By Paul Hagey Apr 21 2020

There’ve been a number of lion sightings in and around Boulder in recent weeks, even deep into the city. A Boulder resident shared a neighbor’s video of two mountain lions strolling down a street near Alpine Ave. and 19th Street (see video below), which continues speculation that lions have begun to venture farther into town with everyone quarantined.

Jason Clay

However, Boulder lion activity and sightings have not increased this year compared to years past, says Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spokesman Jason Clay.

Through Sunday, Jason says there have been four reported Boulder mountain lion sightings: one last Wednesday evening, April 15, near 26th Street and Keller Farm Drive, these two on Thursday and a fourth on Friday, near 4th Street and Mapleton Ave. In April 2019, CPW recorded a total of 10 lion sightings, so April’s on track, Jason adds. In addition, he says, local wildlife activity officers say activity and behavior track with years’ past.

OK, this is a little close! One block over! In truth, we have a fairly sizable herd of mule deer in the area and I sure that's what's attracting them. Neighbor Amy Kern's video.

Posted by Jack Sasson on Thursday, April 16, 2020

This time of year marks a high-point of lion activity, as deer, a big lion prey target, congregate at the base of the Boulder foothills as grass and foliage experience their spring green-up. Activity remains high until late May and June, when deer migrate to higher altitudes as weather warms and begin giving birth.

With approximately 4.1 adult lions per 38.6 square miles, the Front Range and Boulder has among the nation’s highest concentration of lions. Boulder sees many for two reasons, the city butts up against prime lion habitat, and Boulder County’s high percentage of private property prevents the large-scale lion hunts that occur in Front Range counties immediately to the north and south, Larimer and Jefferson, respectively.

[Read more details about Boulder’s high lion concentration]

Header Image: Jack Sasson, Facebook.

Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey is BLDRfly’s founder and editor. When not wrangling video, audio and words in the name of story, he’s riding his mountain bike, trail running and hanging with his awesome wife Jen and their young daughter.