Some folks in Ft. Collins had a little up-close-and-personal encounter with a mountain lion yesterday.  A large one was tracked by Fort Collins police and Division of Wildlife officers as it followed the Poudre River into the city.

Officials started following the cat after it was sighted near Lee Martinez Park around 4 in the afternoon. It continued its trek into town until it found some shelter beneath a trailer behind the Gasamat, at Shields Street and Vine Drive.

Not surprisingly, a large crowd started gathering to see the animal.  Due to the people and the fact that the cat was so close to a busy intersection, officials were going to tranquilize it and move it to safety. Before that happened, the cat took off and ran across Shields, and sprinted back into the foothills.

Mountain lions have been sighted at several Fort Collins natural areas. Like all wildlife, mountain lions are a natural part of the ecosystem, and humans need to take certain precautions around them. Rangers post mountain lion sightings signs when there are recent sightings in natural areas. If you see a mountain lion, please call the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Northeast Region Service Center, 303/291-7227