Quick action by Michael Stein averted a potentially dangerous situation Wednesday morning near Flatirons Elementary School. Stein was out walking his dog, Harley, when he saw an animal dart across the street near his home, only two blocks from the elementary school at 7th and Pennsylvania. When he looked more closely, he saw that it was a fully-grown mountain lion. “Luckily, Harley was playing tug of war with the leash and facing me, so he didn’t see the cat, which was also downwind from us,” Stein said.
Keeping his eye on where the cat had been, he called Boulder Animal Control at 7:15 am. They appeared on the scene, with Boulder Police, a few minutes later. While the Animal Control officer quizzed Stein about what he had seen (“are you sure it wasn’t a large house cat?”), they both saw the lion leap into a nearby tree.
At that point, Animal Control leaped into action, tranquilizing the cat and maneuvering it out of the tree. Officers estimated the cat to be 120 pounds. It was tagged and removed for re-location away from populated areas.
Stein was very relieved that neither he nor Harley ended up as breakfast for the wayward lion — and that none of the kids walking to school became a meal either.