Mountain lion relocated from downtown Pagosa

Photo courtesy Jason Dockter A mountain lion as seen in a downtown Pagosa Springs yard prior to its relocation to the national forest by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials. The mountain lion is suspected of grabbing a dog at Yamaguchi Park before being found under a porch.

By Hailey Sams | SUN Intern

Colorado Parks and Wildlife personnel (CPW) successfully relocated the mountain lion that was suspected to have grabbed a dog at Yamaguchi park early last week. 

The lion was found under the porch of Jason Dockter’s house in downtown Pagosa Springs. 

Dockter relayed he was on vacation discussing the mountain lion at Yamaguchi and, not even an hour later, got a notification that there was an animal in his yard. 

Dockter reported that the lion had a half-eaten skunk with it and was thought to have been there since the night before. 

Dockter called his neighbors and the police department and he watched the lion go under his front porch. 

The CPW Southwest Region notes on Twitter that when CPW personnel arrived the lion was tranquilized and given a health assessment. It was issued two ear tags and loaded into a trap with a reversal drug for the tranquilizer. 

CPW then drove it out deep into the national forest, where it was released and ran off. 

“We sincerely hope we never encounter this lion again and it lives a good life far far from people,” the organization’s Twitter states. 

“Glad that we were able to get the cat relocated and help neighbors and children,” Dockter said, “getting this close to parade time and Fourth of July … a lot of people are in town… it could have been pretty devastating”. 

Dockter noted he has encountered mountain lions before, but this was his first one while living downtown.

If you encounter a mountain lion, CPW lists a few tips on how to get away safely: 

• Do not approach the mountain lion, especially if it’s feeding or with kittens.

• Stay calm, stop or back away slowly, and do everything you can to appear larger. 

• Mountain lions will often back off if you show you are not prey and could pose a danger to them. 

• Do not run away from a lion, as it may see that as a chase and run after you. 

• If you have small children, pick them up so they do not panic and run away. 

• If a lion does attack you, fight back. Throw stones, sticks, tools, or anything you can without crouching or running. People have survived attacks simply by staying standing and fighting back. 

• Mountain lions are wild animals and will behave as such, but mostly they will try to avoid encounters. 

For more information on mountain lions, visit