Strange Thing To Carry
My kids (3, 4 & 6) intercepted and detained a pedestrian passing our house the other evening on the grounds that he was in Public Possession of Dogs, and they needed to subject him to the usual line of questioning: "Names?", "Ages?", "Boys or Girls?", "Do they bite?" etc..
Strangely none of them noticed what I saw immediately, which was the holstered handgun on his hip. I'm sure he had a license to do so, but what he was expecting might happen to him in our Nice Suburban Neighborhood is anyone's guess.
On the other hand one of my wife's co-workers reported a sighting of a mountain lion about two miles southeast of us a couple of years ago. I'm inclined to wonder whether *ahem* alcohol was a factor in that case because we're definitely on the wrong side of the city for that kind of wildlife -- antelope, deer, foxes and the occasional coyote maybe, but how a lion would pass unnoticed around Colorado Springs from the mountains on the west to the plains on the eastern side is a mystery to me.
However the mountains to the west of us aparantly have the highest density of mountain lions throughout the Rockies, which leads to some basic precautions when hiking with the kids -- don't let them straggle or walk too far in front is all it really amounts to. (That link contains other interesting information on bubonic plague, hanta virus, avalanches etc. by the way). Sightings and other less fortunate encounters seem to be pretty common up around Boulder though.
Here's a prime example of the kind of plump, tender morsel that a lion would enjoy most.
It's amazing how fast those legs will carry him if he's told that there's a lion behind him!