DENVER (Reuters) – A mountain lion crawled into a house in Colorado and killed a pet house cat and fled into a canyon after wildlife agents fired with non-lethal bean bag shots to force it out, the authorities said today.
The puma wanders through a glass door unlocked in a house in Boulder, in the Colorado hills, late Thursday evening, while the occupants were not home, said Jason Clay, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The residents, who were not named, discovered the mountain lion in their residence when they arrived home and called the police who summoned the wildlife agency, Clay said.
The wildlife officials decided that the best line of action was to chase the puma out of the main door by shooting shots of beans, Clay said, adding that at least one round hit the animal.
"The officers saw the lion running up the street and believed it was climbing up the hills near the proximity of Boulder Canyon," the note reads.
The domestic cat carcass was found by agents who responded, Boulder police spokesman Sgt. Kristi Peterson told Reuters.
The cat owner told the Denver TV station KDVR in a tearful interview that he had owned his cat, called Klondike, for 10 years.
"She (Klondike) was hard to live – she was not grateful for anything – but it was mine and it is difficult (to see) the end she had," he said.
The Boulder police tweeted a picture of the mountain lion crouched between a table and a sofa inside the house.
Mountain lions, also known as pumas or panthers, are native to the Americas and extend from the Canadian Yukon to the tip of South America, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
David Baron, author and resident of Boulder, whose 2004 book, "The Beast in the Garden", recounted the city's struggle to coexist with pumas and other predators, said mountain lions will learn to avoid beings human if they can not.
"They will learn if they enter a house and are shot with bags of beans, they will have an unpleasant experience," Baron told Reuters by telephone.
Report by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Mark Potter