By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) — A series of mountain lion sightings in central Fort Collins have become the talk of the town. Multiple people, including a Fort Collins Police Services officer, reported seeing at least one mountain lion roaming neighborhoods along the Drake corridor through the heart of Fort Collins on Monday morning.

(credit: Ring)

One person, who shared video of one of the lions walking across his patio in the early hours of Monday morning, told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas he was shocked when he saw his doorbell recording.

His doorbell sent a notification to his phone saying motion was detected. When the video was checked, a large mountain lion could be seen walking up the stairs and across his patio.

Jason Clay, a spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said mountain lions in Front Range neighborhoods are not as uncommon as many believe. It’s just humans are getting better at noticing them.

“Mountain lions are incredibly elusive animals,” Clay said. “We’re starting to see mountain lions being detected more often in our cities because of security cameras.”

Dave Andrews, a local handyman in Fort Collins, said he was shocked to see the video of the lion in central Fort Collins. He said he assumed they lived closer to the foothills, and not so central to neighborhoods.

Many others shared similar sentiments, saying they’ve seen fox and deer before. However, most had not seen a mountain lion.

(credit: CBS)

“It is not unusual for mountain lions to be in Fort Collins or any of our urban areas along the ridges of the foothills,” Clay said. “Mountain lions do a phenomenal job of being in areas where humans are and really going undetected a vast majority of the time.”

The lion the officer spotted was near O’Dea Elementary School — more than two miles from where the doorbell video recorded a lion walking near Rocky Mountain High School.

Clay said it is very possible there were two different lions spotted in the same night.

However, he also noted that it isn’t uncommon for a lion to cover a large area in a short period at night.

“Their home ranges are very large. So it is not unusual for them to be seen in what seems like a far distance apart in a short amount of time,” Clay said.

Clay encouraged residents to continue to keep their eyes out for lions in communities. When one is spotted it should be reported and neighbors should notify each other so they can protect their pets.

If someone ever finds themselves crossing paths with a lion which isn’t standing down, Clay said they should make themselves big, talk loudly at the lion and haze it. Clay said it is always best to be loud and large while slowly walking backward. Clay said it is never a good idea to run away from the cat.

Dillon Thomas