LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The mountain lion that attacked two people in Larimer County on Wednesday, including a Larimer County Sheriff’s deputy, has tested positive for rabies. The attack happened near River Rim Road near Loveland.
Both bite victims are working with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment to manage the rabies exposure.
Deputies from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office along with agents from the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Parks and Wildlife responded to the reported mountain lion attack west of Loveland near an RV park along the Big Thompson River on Wednesday about 1:55 p.m.
Two people were bitten during the attack and rushed to the hospital.
The lion followed the Big Thompson River for a while before it was killed by a CPW wildlife officer.
The necropsy conducted on the mountain lion showed the male, weighing 91 pounds, was in good condition and smelled like skunk.
CPW released this statement about rabies in wildlife populations: 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.
If members of the public observe a wild animal with unusual symptoms or appearing to be diseased, they should contact their local CPW office (the Fort Collins office can be reached at 970-472-4300.
If someone has come into contact with such an animal, they should contact their local public health officials immediately. The Larimer County public health number is 970-498-6775.
This is the 23rd known attack of a mountain lion on a human in Colorado since 1990.
CPW officers say they shot and killed the mountain lion on Wednesday because it was a threat to human safety. They say there is no further public safety concerns.