It wasn’t hard for the mountain lion to sneak into this Colorado home, police said.
All the wild animal had to do was get through a screen door on Thursday night at the residence in Boulder, according to police. Once inside, the mountain lion didn’t harm any humans — but it did kill the family’s house cat.
Police said a resident discovered the mountain lion inside upon returning home, the Associated Press reports.
“He said it was terrifying,” the home’s owner Kayla Slaughter said, describing what her roommate witnessed when he arrived at the home, according to KDVR. “It looked right at him and licked his lips and he (roommate) took off.”
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The house cat the mountain lion ate was named Klondike, the TV station reports.
Getting the wild animal out was quite the challenge, and photos taken by police and neighbors show why. The animal made itself at home — nestling between a sofa and a coffee table and wandering around the home.
Boulder police got to the scene around 10:40 p.m., and a wildlife officer arrived at 11:30 p.m., wildlife officers said. But even working together, it took more than an hour to coax the animal out, police said. Wildlife officers fired “non-lethal bean-bag rounds” at the animal to scare it back outside, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release.
Ultimately, it worked: The mountain lion was shooed out the front door, and then scared out of the residential area it had been roaming, according to wildlife officers. The mountain lion wasn’t hurt or captured, police said.
Police said it’s a reminder of what to do to keep animals (and burglars, for that matter) out of your home.
“Please keep ground level doors and windows closed and locked at night and when you are not home,” Boulder police wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Wildlife officers will be patrolling the area on Friday and over the weekend to make sure the mountain lion doesn’t get into any more mischief, state officials said.
The surprise guest created quite an eventful night for those living next door, too: Police alerted them of the mountain lion that had taken up residence in their neighbor’s home, and then the family next door looked into their neighbor’s windows to catch glimpses of the big cat, the Boulder Daily Camera reports.
“That was kind of shocking, and amazing, and exciting,” said Jesse Frankel, a neighbor, the Daily Camera reports.
The neighbors even captured some video of the mountain lion’s head popping into view through the window.
Wildlife officers offered a few recommendations for discouraging unwanted mountain lions, including making a ruckus as you come and go during dawn and dusk, when the big cats are most likely to be out; putting in lighting in walkways so you can see the animals; watching children closely outside; and making sure children know what to do if they see a mountain lion.