Researchers Spray Mountain Lion Urine Around Popular Colorado Mountaintop

Researchers Spray Mountain Lion Urine Around Popular Colorado Mountaintop

wildlife

Researchers Spray Mountain Lion Urine Around Popular Colorado Mountaintop

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“Honestly, when I first started, I was like, ‘mountain lion urine? Like, that’s kind of weird.” –Jess Harrington

NEWS9 reports researchers with the Denver Zoo have come up with an interesting tactic to keep bighorn sheep and mountain goats separate from throngs of tourists on Mount Evans…spraying mountain lion urine purchased off the internet.

“One of our keepers is working up [on Mount Evans], and she came up with a great idea to say, ‘Hey, why don’t we put mountain lion urine in the parking lot so that animals will perceive this to be a dangerous place and then won’t try to go there?”

Deciding the idea was worth pursuing they did what anyone would do, googled mountain lion urine for sale. Turns out you can buy a gallon of the stuff for $129.99 off thepeemart.com. They bought gallons and walked the perimeter of the parking lots with jugs of urine and poured a small amount every 10 feet. They set up motion-activated cameras so they could capture the reaction of wildlife.

“Our conservation vehicle smelled like urine for probably about a week or two after we transported up there. We’re hoping that bringing that scent of the mountain lion urine up to where they’re at in the summer, it’ll stimulate that survival response, or that survival mechanism, and keep them away from those areas.”

Time will tell if the program is effective but until then please join us in keeping wildlife safe by not feeding wildlife, keeping a safe distance of 30ft or more, and practicing leave no trace.

 

FROM THE DENVER ZOO:

This summer, Denver Zoo researchers have been investigating ways to decrease human-wildlife interactions on Mt. Evans. If you’re unfamiliar, Mt. Evans is a popular tourist destination that attracts over 200,000 visitors annually. As a result, bighorn sheep and mountain goats have become habituated to people, posing threats such as disease transmission, intestinal issues from being fed, and increased aggression towards humans.
Mountain lion urine is one method our researchers are using to help keep both humans and animals safe. A natural predator to mountain goats and bighorn sheep, the scent of the urine could trigger a survival mechanism, deterring wildlife from high human activity areas. Denver Zoo researchers are testing the impact mountain lion urine has on wildlife behavior, and how that impact can inform future wildlife management plans.

images from DenverZoo FB

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