IDLEDALE, Colorado – A mountain lion crept through an open door into a house outside Denver, snatched a Labrador retriever from a bedroom where two people were sleeping and left the dog's dead body outside, wildlife managers said Tuesday.
No one else was hurt in the home about 14 miles southwest of Denver.
Wildlife officials later trapped the 130-pound male cat using the dog's body as bait and fatally shot it.
Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Tyler Baskfield said the cat entered the house through open French doors early Monday and fled with the Labrador after the owners woke up.
"The people got up and looked around and saw the mountain lion's tail leaving the house," Baskfield said.
Mack and Jacquie Anderson told Denver television stations that their 12-year-old Labrador named Scout was killed by the lion. Another dog sleeping in the room wasn't harmed.
Jacquie Anderson said they were awakened by a commotion in the room at around 4:30 a.m. and, when she got up to check what was happening, she realized the big cat was in the bedroom. She exclaimed that there was a mountain lion in the room and she believes that led it to run out the open doors with Scout in its mouth. The dog weighed 72 pounds.
The couple said the dogs didn't bark to warn them of the mountain lion.
The owners agreed to use the dog's body for bait. Baskfield said mountain lions often stash their kills and return for them later.
Although wild animals ranging from raccoons to bears might amble in through open doors and windows, "it is kind of strange for a large predator like that to come that close to the house," Baskfield said.
Colorado has an estimated 3,000 to 7,000 mountain lions.