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Contact: Dan Johnson, (435) 781-7702
Contact: Joel Brumm, (970) 374-3055
DINOSAUR, CO - Dinosaur National Monument has closed the Split Mountain Campground, Picnic Area and Green River Access effective immediately due to mountain lion activity. On the afternoon of December 11th, a mountain lion was observed dragging a mule deer kill down from the hill to a cache site in the Campground. Mountain lions can cache their kills and return to feed for a number of days, and they exhibit defensive behavior around the carcass during that time. In winter conditions, the lion can remain near the cached carcass for one to two weeks. Due to the significant safety risk posed by the lion and the cached food supply, the Split Mountain area is closed until further notice. It is anticipated that the area will reopen within two weeks.
Visitors are reminded that although mountain lions, also known as cougars, are rare to see, all of Dinosaur National Monument is suitable habitat. Visitors should take appropriate precautions when recreating within the Monument.
To prevent an encounter:
• Don't hike or jog alone
• Keep children within sight and close to you
• Avoid dead animals
• Keep a clean camp
• Leave pets at home
• Be alert to your surroundings
• Use a walking stick
If you meet a mountain lion:
• Don't run, as this may trigger a cougar's attack instinct
• Stand and face it
• Pick up children
• Appear large, wave arms or jacket over your head
• Do not approach, back away slowly
• Keep eye contact
If you encounter a mountain lion and it acts aggressive:
• Do not turn your back or take your eyes off it
• Remain standing
• Throw things
• Shout loudly
• Fight back aggressively
In addition to mountain lions, other wildlife, such as deer, elk and bighorn sheep, are prevalent in the Monument. Please be alert for animals crossing the roads - particularly at dawn and dusk.
Visitors planning on recreating in the Monument during the winter should also remember that Dinosaur's weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions. For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call us at (435) 781-7700. You can also find us on facebook or follow DinosaurNPS on twitter.