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Cougar snared after attack on Corvallis pets

 
September 22, 2010

 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Wildlife officials today captured and immediately euthanized a cougar in a northwest Corvallis neighborhood after the animal was deemed a threat to human health and safety.

The 46-pound female was captured near NW Boxwood Drive in a snare set by the USDA Wildlife Services.

Wildlife officials believe the cougar is the same animal which in the previous week attacked and injured a small dog at one Corvallis residence and may have killed a pet cat at a neighboring home. Corvallis residents called Benton County 911 and reported the presence of a cougar to police and ODFW after taking pictures of the animal using the backyard deck of their home as cover.

“This cougar posed a threat to human health and safety as defined by the Oregon Legislature, which is why it was captured and destroyed,” said Nancy Taylor, wildlife biologist for ODFW’s South Willamette Watershed District. ODFW’s Cougar Management Plan directs the department’s biologists to capture and destroy cougars when they show certain types of aggressive behavior, including attacking pets and losing their wariness of humans. Further, the plan states that “under no circumstances will consideration be given to relocation of cougars.”

Taylor said she has recently received additional reports of both adult and younger cougars witnessed recently within Corvallis city limits around Witham Hill, NW Filmore St. and by the powerline north of Walnut Drive.

There are no documented cases of a cougar attacking a human being in Oregon. Even so, Taylor recommends that people concerned about the presence of cougars familiarize themselves with actions they can take to reduce possible conflicts with these animals. These actions are summarized on ODFW’s website at www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/living-with-cougars.asp and include:

  • ·  Keep pets indoors at night.
  • ·  Teach children and other family members how to react if they see a cougar, i.e., make themselves look as big as possible; yell, throw rocks and ensure the cougar does not feel welcome.
  • ·  Avoid running in areas of thick brush or poor visibility between dusk and dawn. For example, the safest running routes in NW Corvallis are well-lit areas in the flats, away from thick stands of trees and deer.
  • ·  Consider installing motion-activated lights and fences to exclude prey species such as turkey and deer.
  • ·  If you see a live cougar or a dead animal, particularly one that has been covered with ground debris, report it to ODFW staff or law enforcement immediately.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation and can act quickly when we receive cougar siting and pet attack information in a timely manner,” said Taylor, “especially when it involves areas of concentrated activity, like this latest situation in northwest Corvallis.”

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Contact:

Nancy Taylor (541) 757-4186, ext. 226
Rick Swart (971) 673-6038

 
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