By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Last Wednesday in Larimer County, CO, deputies from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, rangers from Larimer County Natural Resources, and game wardens from Colorado Parks and Wildlife responded to the 2100 block of River Rim Road in unincorporated Larimer County/Loveland to a reported mountain lion attack.

Mountain lion
Larry Moats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Deputies arrived, saw the mountain lion, and tried to keep it contained.  The mountain lion moved to the east into a trailer park as deputies followed in efforts to keep those residents safe.  The mountain lion attacked a deputy and multiple shots were fired at the animal.  The mountain lion continued moving east across the river and to a home on Black Crow Road near Highway 34.  A CPW game warden shot and killed the animal near the home.

The injured citizen and deputy were both transported by ambulance to local hospitals with apparent but non-life-threatening injuries inflicted by the animal.

On Friday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s pathologist reported that the mountain lion tested positive for rabies.

A necropsy of the mountain lion conducted late Wednesday night showed the male was in good body condition, weighing 91 pounds, and had a mild skunk odor.

While it is unknown how the mountain lion contracted rabies, it is possible that it was bitten by a smaller prey animal that was also rabid. In the spring, as some wildlife become more active, CPW regularly sees an uptick in rabies activity, especially in skunks.

“Skunk rabies is endemic in the state, and skunk activity is increasing with the warming weather,” said Karen Fox, CPW’s wildlife pathologist. “Remember to keep your pets vaccinated.”

Both bite victims have been notified and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment is managing the rabies exposure investigation and response.


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