Boulder County, Colorado

From the Boulder Daily Camera of October 8, 2007

Questions in cougar shooting

Jeremy Kocar killed mountain lion that attacked a puppy chained on the property

Only stars and the glimmer from a 140-pound mountain lion’s fierce gaze provided light in the midnight darkness of Boulder County’s foothills for Jeremy Kocar to cock and aim his rifle.

Still, Kocar said his eyes adjusted “quick enough” when the cougar looked up from the puppy in its clutches.

“I took the shot, and that was the end of it,” said Kocar, 31, who now finds himself facing possible criminal charges for shooting the adult male lion.

It’s been three days since Kocar said he saved his family’s Rottweiler-Labrador mix, Duke — and possibly his own life — by shooting the lion that attacked the 8-month-old puppy. But, Kocar said, it will be much longer before he’s able to get over the moment he stared down the cat as it crouched in a “pouncing” position.

“That’s one thing you don’t ever want,” Kocar said Monday while standing outside the trailer that he, his wife and their two children are living in near Nederland. “You don’t want to come face-to-face with a lion.”

Jeremy Kocar, a Wisconsin man temporarily living near Nederland, sits with 8-month-old Duke, who was mauled by a mountain lion near Kocar’s trailer early Friday. Kocar shot and killed the cougar, and now may face criminal charges.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife confiscated the cougar that Kocar killed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Friday in a clearing east of Gross Reservoir. Wildlife officers are reviewing the shooting, and DOW spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said her agency is “investigating what will happen to the person who shot the lion.”

“We do have laws that allow people to protect their safety and their livestock,” Churchill said. “But this is the tricky gray area of it being a dog.”According to Colorado law, it’s legal “to trap, kill or otherwise dispose of bears, mountain lions or dogs in situations when it is necessary to prevent them from inflicting death or injury to livestock or human life.”

That’s exactly what Kocar said he was doing when the lion tucked Duke under his belly, as if “it was protecting its kill,” and turned its attention to Kocar.

“I’m from Wisconsin — and we take care of things there,” Kocar said.

(Much More)

From the TheDenverChannel.com of October 11, 2007

Dog Owner Won’t Be Charged For Shooting Mountain Lion

A Wisconsin man who shot and killed a mountain lion that was attacking his dog will not be charged, the Division of Wildlife announced Thursday.

Officials determined that Jeremy Kocar was acting in self-defense when he shot the mountain lion just outside his temporary home, near Gross Reservoir, earlier this week.

Kocar could have been charged with an illegal take, and could have faced a fine of $1,400. State law allows people to shoot a mountain lion if their personal safety or livestock are threatened — but officials said they didn’t know if that would extend to dogs.

Kocar and his wife, Angela, said that they heard a growl in the middle of the night and went outside to check out what happened and came face to face with the mountain lion.

“It was standing right there under the tree branch with my dog in its mouth,” said Angela Kocar.

Jeremy tried to scare the mountain lion away but it didn’t budge so he ran inside, grabbed his rifle and that’s when the mountain lion approached him, he said.

Wildlife advocates were upset that Kocar shot the mountain lion.

The DOW said that pet owners who are going to live in lion country need to be a responsible and put their pets away, or inside at night.

Jeremy and his wife said they will never leave their dogs outside alone again.

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