BAILEY, Colo. – An eight-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion in the Burland Ranchettes Subdivision of Bailey Wednesday evening and sustained serious injuries that caused the child to be hospitalized overnight.
The attack occurred around 7:30 p.m. while the boy was playing in the yard with his brother outside their home.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers were at the residence throughout the entire night after responding to the attack. A trap was set and a team of three dogs were brought in to try to locate the mountain lion. The dog team searched the area for roughly two hours, but were unable to pick up a scent trail to track the animal.
Wildlife officers will be making every effort to locate the mountain lion from this attack on Thursday to ensure the safety of the public. That may include bringing in a new pack of dogs, depending on what is observed Thursday morning when daylight comes. By policy, any wildlife attack on a human resulting in injury, that animal must be put down.
The two boys were playing outside on a trampoline when the eight-year-old boy heard one of his friends calling from a neighboring house and ran to go visit the friend. While he was running, the mountain lion attacked and bit the boy on the head.
The brother ran inside the house and told the father that something did not sound right. The father rushed outside and found the mountain lion on top of his son. The mountain lion let go of the child as the father approached and took off running. A 911 call was made and the boy was taken to the hospital.
The description wildlife officers received of the mountain lion was that it is of smaller size. It is not known at this time if it was a male or female.
“The kid was running and it probably triggered the lions natural response to a prey animal running,” said Area Wildlife Manager Mark Lamb. “We all hope that the child will be alright and you just hate to see this occur.”
Since 1990, there have been 22 mountain lion attacks on humans in Colorado with three of those resulting in a fatality (1991, 1997 and 1999). There have been three attacks this year, but the previous attack before this was in 2016. The last time three attacks occurred within the same year was in 1998.
Of the two previous attacks this year, the first occurred Feb. 4 on a trail runner at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space west of Fort Collins while the second was on Aug. 10 northeast of Kremmling. Both victims were adult males.