Corvallis residents can rest easy this week after USDA Wildlife Services officials caught and euthanized a 46-pound cougar that had recently deemed a threat to human health and safety.
According to a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the female cougar was caught near NW Boxwood Drive. The animal is believed to be the same cougar that attacked and injured a small dog at one home and may have killed a pet cat at another.
The press release continues:
“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.”
One interesting aspect of this story is that there are no documented cases of cougars attacking a human being in Oregon. Still, wildlife officials consider cougars a major threat to human safety and encourage anyone living in an area with a known cougar population to familiarize themselves with safety tips for preventing an encounter.
Earlier this year, cougar sightings in the Dalles gave residents quite a scare, as three grown cougars were reported wandering around the east side of town. In the past, cougar hunting season has been limited to bow hunting only, but with these recent reports it may be that regulations may change to allow any hunting equipment.