Lions strike area sheep

At least 40 animals killed, officials blame mountain lion pair

At least 40 sheep that were slaughtered by a predator were discovered Wednesday afternoon on the Peroulis ranch off Moffat County Road 38.

"We documented a total of at least 40 sheep that were killed by a mountain lion or lions," said Mike Bauman, district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said. "It's hard to say exactly if it was just one lion. It might have been a pair. The attack occurred off County Road 38, approximately four miles east of Highway 13."

For a lion predation event, the number of animals lost was not unusual, Bauman said. Coyote and bear attacks routinely result in smaller numbers of animals taken, but lion attacks usually have a larger number of kills, he said.

"Mountain lion predation is nothing unusual for this area, it happens every year," Bauman said.

This was not the first documented attack of the year for the area.

The Division of Wildlife no longer handles any efforts to hunt down predators that attack livestock. That is under the authority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Departmental representatives were not available for comment on whether such a hunt had been initiated, and the Peroulis' also were not available to comment on such a hunt or the extent of damage done.

Members of the Peroulis family spent the morning searching for signs of other animal attacks.

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