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Mountain Lion Safety Information
Last Friday, the Post Independent reported on recent mountain lion activity in West Glenwood Springs area. The article reports on several incidents involving what appear to be uncharacteristically aggressive mountain lions. This activity may be alarming to members of our school community, so we want to share information about our practices regarding wild animals as well as some general safety reminders.

The Roaring Fork Schools have protocols in place to keep students safe while at school. If a wild animal is reported to be in the vicinity of a school, the school will implement a lockout by securing the perimeter to protect the campus from the external threat and then contact the appropriate authorities. You can learn more about our lockout procedures here. While we have not had any wildlife sightings this year during the school day yet, we are vigilant with scanning the outside environment at all recess times.

For students coming from more rural areas, please know that bus stop locations are placed with regard to the possibility of students encountering wildlife. On our bus routes in areas where wildlife activity is likely, school buses stop more frequently than they would in a more urban setting. This is in an effort to reduce the distance that students have to walk from their home to their bus stop in these rural areas. Bus drivers are vigilant and trained to observe and report wildlife activity. Student safety is always a primary concern for bus drivers and they all welcome your input and concern regarding wildlife or any other risks to students at their bus stops.
General Safety Tips
Although the recent mountain lion activity in West Glenwood Springs may be alarming, it’s important to remember that lion attacks on people are incredibly rare. The Colorado Division of Wildlife reports that there have been fewer than a dozen fatalities in North America in more than 100 years. However, because we do live in mountain lion habitat, it is important to educate your students about mountain lions. The following safety tips have been compiled from the National Park Service and the Colorado Division of Wildlife:

- When traveling in mountain lion habitat, go in groups and make plenty of noise.

- Don’t approach a mountain lion. Most mountain lions want to avoid humans. Give a mountain lion the time and space to steer clear of you.

- If you encounter a mountain lion, make yourself appear larger and more aggressive. Open your jacket, raise your arms, and throw stones, branches, etc., without turning away. Wave raised arms slowly, and speak slowly, firmly, loudly to disrupt and discourage predatory behavior. Never bend over or crouch down.

- Never run past or from a mountain lion. Make eye contact. Stand your ground.